BzaInSpace wrote: ↑
Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:30 pm
angelsighs wrote: ↑
Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:38 am
so believe it or not, it's now been 10 months since And Nothing Hurt came out.
we are not far off a year since it's release.. and no proper UK tour, no further videos or anything.
anyone think it's been weirdly low key?
I kinda wish they had done an extensive UK tour.
However I remain eternally glad I made it to that Glasgow show. That ecstatic feeling lasted for weeks... and even now it's a real high just thinking about it.
I always mean to post a full-on review thing about And Nothing Hurt
- won't happen today but I will say that it's magnificent. I stopped listening to it for a bit as I didn't want to ruin it... but it remains a go-to for a particular kind of music high I can't get elsewhere.
What I will say is that the production levels are insane - there's so much going on in a lot of those songs, the layers of instrumentation going on is beyond. Loads of subtle (or not) effects, the louder you listen to it the more you can hear. Even on a phone with decent headphones on a slight volume adjustment brings up further layers of stuff. Truly incredible & beautiful.
I wasn't even that keen on 'A Perfect Miracle' on first hearing and now... it's just something else. Those lyrics get so dark. The insane highs and crushing lows of doomed relationships never sounded so pretty:
"My phone has been broke/And I thought that we spoke....I met someone else/you should try it yourself..."
- woah. Or woe. Pretty sure the similarity with the title track of LAG
... wasn't an accident - despite claims otherwise.
Working backwards in respect of the above:
I honestly don't think A Perfect Miracle is compositionally related to Ladies And Gentlemen... apart from a similar basic structure transposed to a different key. The bare boned ukele (or is it a tense 4 string banjo?) Bach-esque descending melody is vaguely reminiscent, yet turns out quite differently.
Throughout his career, Jason has employed similar structures and simple chord sequences - the brilliance and skill that results has been in his deft use of dynamics and dense production values, bringing new and invigorated songs to life.
In respect of dense production techniques, I think that is what makes the new album so refreshing. There is far more good stuff going on in the deep weeds, compared with the previous two albums.
I think the creative depths plumbed via limitations such as those Jason encountered in not being able to avail himself of costly studio time, big budget enabled employment of large ensembles etc, is what makes ANH so refreshing. Also his new recording technique seems better-suited to taking lots of time to tweak the best from every element available at mixdown.
Rather than taking workmanlike retreads of familiar writing techniques, then adding clichéd syrupy strings and/or lots of distorted guitar parts to fill out and put meat on the proverbial bones - he's used far more original production and instrumentation to good effect, most notable in the dense midrange that only reveals itself in decent quality listening environments.
I don't recall the same subtleties I hear on ANH through my PMC monitors, revealing themselves on SH/SL or A&E. There's so many hidden depths, spread wide throughout the entire frequency spectrum, that offer up a complexity neither previous album offered.
To me the most attractive element of the ANH production, is the combination of the density last heard on LICD, plus the judicious placement of carefully orchestrated multiple key parts - with a precision I don't recall hearing since LGM and Pure Phase.
The combining of new songwriting styles with those different yet now complimentary production values, is the most interesting and exciting aspect of the new album for me.
I think Jason's careful curation of complex, detailed and crunchy parts within the mid and upper midrange elements of the frequency spectrum, brings a special new life to what on the paper musical score may not be especially interesting or new tracks.
I wish I hadn't bothered with that uber-compressed pre-release stream on NPR. I hastily ripped it to CD and was disappointed with how flat it sounded. The dynamic force present on the actual album was sorely missing.
The Glasgow gig was great. I'm now ready for a more diverse set on a comprehensive UK tour, with a local date and hopefully a couple more I can easily get to. I want to hear electric live staples like Take Your Time, which has always been my favourite live track.
Far be it from me to tell Jason how to do the music business, but it seems a little unfair that our American friends got a decent tour before the UK. Furthermore I'm not convinced that playing the new album in full at every gig, is not potentially a display of artistic stubbornness triamphing over conventional touring economics.