I'm sorry. I really do enjoy the stuff these guys put out, but I could never listen to most of it on a regular basis. The only real reason for that is that I'm a lyrics nut and there's little to work with in their music. I can put it on for reading purposes though (I have a tough time with lyrics going on as I'm reading a book), or while I work. It's fantastic for that!
I have to give them props - 21 different apps were used, and this whole thing was recorded on an iPad in 32 days between Montreal and Vancouver.
The cool thing about this album right off the bat is that every song has a place in the title... sort of... so there's bound to be something that ties it appropriately to those places. It's described on the site as "a 15-track sonic journey." *Deep Breath*
There's an album preview, which was literally the only video I could find. For a cartoon band, they have failed thus far at putting out videos for this album, unless I'm really missing something here. I don't know, maybe they got too caught up in their singles collection that came out a few months later. I heard this album wasn't as good as the old stuff anyway, so maybe they tried to play it down? Anywhos, here's the trailer I tracked down, which is actually fan made:
Now for the tracks... here we go:
I can already tell I'm going to have a tough time coming up with meaningful commentary on this album, mostly because of the highly repetitive, highly electronic nature of this music. "Phoner to Arizona" opens up in what I assumed, at first, was an intro track (I've since learned otherwise as the other tracks are largely of the same nature). It has an ongoing beat, that's for sure. I'll try to accept this as it goes.
Oooohhhh lyrics. "Revolving Doors." Cool! Actually, I do like this one, even with the slightly obnoxious consistent beat to it. And there's some kind of story forming, and y'all know I'm a sucker for that. Watching life pass by. *sigh* As consistent as this beat is, it could be a very good set-a-trance song.
I like how "HillBilly Man" is starting off - not at all what I expected. Still a little too computerized for my taste, but I don't hate it. This one is lighter and the guitar riff (or at least what sounds like one) basing the song is really pleasant. Oh, and there is goes back into the techno-like beat. Damn it. I was into this for about a minute.
There's a cool weird train whistle kind of sound that leads us into "Detroit." The beat isn't so static either, which I'm enjoying. There's a lot of percussion-like movement going on. If I had to name an innovative track on this album, so far, this is probably it. This is the one that people could get up and dance to a little bit. Something different is here and it absolutely works. And is actually completely unexpected to me when looking at the track name alone.
"Shy-town" brings us into a darker place, and takes the journey to Chicago. Now, I've never thought of this city as a dark place, but that's what the mood of the synth in this one entails. I can't totally make out what the voice is saying, but this is... trippy.
"Little Pink Plastic Bags." Hm. Title alone makes me think Victoria's Secret, but let's see what the song has to offer. Yeah.... no, they wouldn't play this in that store. It needs more wub-wub to it (let's see if my roommate's actually reading to catch that). This is a super slow one, which might be some odd attempt at being sexy? Sorry, stuck on the VS thing.
I thought my speaker chord was bugging out at the beginning of this one, "The Joplin Spider." I don't like the amount of electronic noise I can hear in this one. If I were watching Tron, I mean, cool, no big. But no on its own. I like the creepy-ness of the lyrics though, and wouldn't mind hearing them so much on a different accompaniment.
"The Parish of Space Dust" opens with a radio scanning and running into country music, then switching to some kind of... I don't really know how to describe this, but I kind of like it. I would really just like to close my eyes and enjoy this in a void of nothing, just the sound. There's radio clips and a growing symphonic sound behind it. It's about Texas according to the lyrics.
"The Snake In Dallas" has to also be about Texas, right? This one's got a different tone and has more of a connection to the wilderness and nature of Texas I think. There may even be some horns, or horn sounds, in there to give a lot of the primary melody.
A third Texas song - "Amarillo." I mean, it is a really big state. Anndddd this is, again, not what I would have expected given the title. It's trace-y, but I don't necessarily enjoy the way in which it does this. It actually feels kind of lazy to be honest. There's something lacking here big time.
Gaaahhhh damn it. "The Speak It Mountains" starts off with voices on some weird loop going over each other and being mixed all weird, and then some equally obnoxious computerized buzzing is introduced. Bah. No. Thank. You.
"Aspen Forest" thank you for coming on. As much as I may not enjoy the computerized tone of your scales, I am enjoying this much more than the last one. It's cutsy, but I like the piano coming into play a little bit in. This is clearly layering, and it's done pretty well.
Someone channeled their inner George Harrison for "Bobby In Phoenix (feat. Bobby Womack)," and I love it. This one is completely different, with blues and soul dripping all over it. Gorgeous sounds all around by everyone involved. More. More. More. Please. This is sweet music right here. This is like the best drum circle you've never been a part of.
"California And The Slipping Of The Sun" takes me out of my happy place quickly. It's very avant-guard and I'm just not down with it too much. I need someone visual to go with this one desperately, to be honest. That's about all I've got on it.
Oh my... "Seattle Yodel"... they're actually yodeling. No, really, that's the entire track. One quick yodel. And they're done.
See? I did it. Now here's the stuff I wouldn't mind hearing again (I tried to provide some YouTube links that have videos that just play audio as well if you don't have spotify - which you SHOULD):
- "Revolving Doors" - Spotify, YouTube
- "Detroit" - Spotify, YouTube
- "The Parish of Space Dust" - Spotify, YouTube
- "Bobby In Phoenix (feat. Bobby Womack)" - Spotify, YouTube
Look, not every song can be "Feel Good Inc." or "Clint Eastwood," but they have a few good ones. I think the videos were the highlight here for me - love a good cartoon band after all. :)
I'm about to hit the hay for the night, but before we part, why not share your thoughts??