What does it sound like?:
It’s an interesting mix of artists, all covering Frightened Rabbit’s The Midnight Organ Fight. Some decent names – Craig Finn, Biffy, Sarah Silverman – and an equal smattering of “who the hell are they?”
Everyone’s done their own version of the songs, with very different sounds. Are all of them great? No. But I’d argue none of them are bad.
I was in pieces on the first play through, and by the third was in love with it. It’s bigger than the sum of its individual parts
What does it all *mean*?
Well, it isn’t a tribute album. It was all but complete when Scott Hutchison passed. That said, there is an extra poignancy to it, especially Twilight Sad’s Floating in the Forth.
The original album was a belter – the album that broke them, really. The album that gets played most on “Chuck”, fact fans. So to hear these staples covered by other artists could have been really jarring.
Except…they work. Every one has found something else in the song that may not have been there on the first listen. Backwards Walk, done by Sarah Silverman, takes the original from the female angle and opens up new angles. Biffy Clyro, to their immense credit, found some kind of truth in the conflict of the original and made it new.
Above all else, it makes you realize just how good a songwriter Scott Hutchison was. The lyrics really come alive in these songs, even if sounds odd to hear them not always in his brogue, and I’ve appreciated the wit, humor and pathos in his writing. The crowd favorite, Keep Yourself Warm is a very different song in the hands of Benjamin Gibbard (no, me neither) and reveals a different truth to the song.
All in all: it wasn’t meant to be a tribute album. It will be. And it will stand the test of time.
Goes well with…
Donations to a mental health charity.
It’s not a secret that Scott Hutchison took his own life. The album title is layered: it’s a lyric (“while I’m alive, I’ll make tiny changes to earth”) which has become a rallying motif for all the fans, in much the same way that Stay Alive did for Big Country fans.
It’s also the name of a charity set up by Scott’s family to support mental health, and the proceeds go to the charity.
Today, July 12.
Might suit people who like…
Well, Frightened Rabbit; Wintersleep; Biffy.
Good lyric writing.