Beak>: Beak>

Great album for working to. Mood music.

Been working on this album forever, mostly because I can’t figure out if it’s three or three-and-a-half clowns. But it’s been months now, so time to just start writing and see where it leads me.

It’s at least three clowns, that much is not up for debate. I do like this CD. It’s atmospheric mood music, mostly very sparse, but a trio that for the most part plays bass, heavily affected guitar, and keys.

Minimalism meets popular music. The music is quite repetitive, atmospheric, as I said, but it drifts in small changes ever so slowly, sometimes almost imperceptibly. Often times, if you listen closely enough, you’ll hear just one note change in a recurring pattern and then, after that note’s been in there for a while, another note will change, and by the end they’ll be in a very different place.

Sometimes the changes can be more dramatic. Gradual, but still big changes, occur, for instance, in “Blagdon Lake,” which, by the time it’s over, is darned hear a headbanger with dramatic accents driving the beat home.

On the other hand, I just don’t see myself reaching for this that much. Just not my cup of tea, and after you get past the top five or six songs, the rest of it is kind of filled out with meh.

A rating of 3.5 often does mean a meh album that has some really good moments in it. But given that you really have to have some patience to get to many of those since they’re, say, the back half of a five minute song and can only really be appreciated after the full build, does this still count? For example, my favorite moment on the record might be the last one-and-a-half minutes of “Ham Green,” but you have to wait 4:45 just to get there.

On the other hand, a rating of three means that, while I do like the album as a whole, there are usually some pretty prominent flaws or real frustration I have with at least parts of it. I don’t really have that here. At worst I’m just maybe a little bored, waiting for a payoff too long in coming.

If I were being an objective critic, I’d give it 3.5, maybe even more, as reward for what feels like to me very good execution on vision. If I’m rating for myself, then I’m going to give it a three and likely not spend that much more time with it. When I first started blogging I tried to be more objective. Now, I don’t care about that so much and would rather leave a record of how it affected me. The funny thing about this record is that when I’m listening, I’m definitely at a 3.5. But I never want to listen to it. I don’t know, something about a 3.5 just doesn’t feel right. So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll be generous with the full hearts so that I remember I did like quite a few songs on here, but I’m going to leave the rating at an even three.

Rating:
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Mix: “Blagdon Lake”
– “Backwell,” “PIll,” “Ham Green,” “I Know,” “Iron Action,” “The Cornubia,” “Flax Bourton”
– “Battery Point,” “Ears Have Ears,” “Barrow Gurney,”  “Dundry Hill”
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. Backwell – Like Ummagumma. Only not as interesting.
  2. Pill – Starts with spooky stringed instrument. Really like the second half or so of this.
  3. Ham Green – Starts with spooky descending vocal interval.
  4. I Know – Lounge vibe. But like with malarial mosquitoes in the lounge.
  5. Battery Point – Bass carries melody here and in a lot of places on the disc actually. Almost full. I do like it, just not enough to be full.
  6. Iron Action –
  7. Ears Have Ears – maybe my least favorite one. But fine.
  8. Blagdon Lake – Really slow getting started, but the last half goes into a really nice build that makes it all worthwhile.
  9. Barrow Gurney – feedback. There’s no reason for this.
  10. The Cornubia – Very cool.
  11. Dundry Hill – 7.5 minutes.
  12. Flax Bourton –
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One thought on “Beak>: Beak>

  1. Pingback: Bowery Electric: Beat | fatclown

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