What does it sound like?:
Plainly, this album focuses on the Songwriting and production – it is a very direct album, and although it took a while to “get”, once you’re in it is strangely satisfying. A note of warning however – for all its upfront diversity, and if this makes any sense, its lack of stretch in that diversity can become a little wearing.
It probably sounds better, and becomes more accessible, in mid-summer than the depths of a freezing cold winter, but one can’t help but be drawn in.
Excuse the phrase, but there is a wide musical palette here – from the funky-popped-up Steely Dan (It’ A Good Thing”), to the plaintive (“The Morning Is Waiting For You”), to the cinematic (“Trouble At The Lights”).
Pick a genre, it’s probably covered here – ELO, Queen, Steely Dan, 10CC, 70s Laurel Canyon, Yacht Rock,Prog, Jazz, Funk – they all make an appearance somewhere.
What does it all *mean*?
I meant to write this a coupe of weeks ago after my first listen.
Initial impressions, and all that …
And then I listened again and my thoughts changed.
And then again – in fact I’ve listened 5 or 6 times before finally coming to a conclusion.
Initially, I wasn’t too sure – the first couple of tracks (“The Noisy Days Are Over” and “Disappointed”) were direct winners sounding like a cross between Devo and Talking Heads with a lolloping funk groove underpinning it.
These two tracks tread similar musical ground, but then the album opens up and I was a bit wrong-footed by it. I’ll admit to be slightly underwhelmed by it, and it took a couple more listens to reveal itself in all its diverse charms.
Later tracks “Indeed It Is” and “Same Name” smack a bit of filler but are not un-necessary. The final track is what final tracks should be – “Stay Awake” borders on the epic, but never really achieves this. A fine song to close the album, but I just wanted it to break out and explode a little.
Is it a great album? To be honest I’m not sure – either I haven’t listened intently enough, or it is just the wrong season for it.
May not be earth-shatteringly great, but it certainly piques my interest enough to explore their back catalogue further.
Goes well with…
It’s a bit like a coffee table book – one you can dip in and out of without really losing the thread.
It works as background music, but still demands to be listened to.
Ideal for lazy Sundays (or any day) just lazing around doing nothing
Might suit people who like…
Albums where the songs and delivery are more important than the personalities delivering it.
Any of the names/genres mentioned above – one can’t help but cite Steely Dan-isms as a major constant on this album.