He just placed at my door Wilco’s The Whole Love. I played it cool. I left it out there on the other side of glass as I continued on my way downstairs to stash my preamp (the new to me amp is at the repair shop and will probably be for some time so this preamp is of no use until the amp is back). That done, I sauntered upstairs and TORE open the package. You’d better believe it’s on the turntable now (sorry Fleetwood Mac–you know I love you but I need some new news).
How about a real time review? Just an experiment. I’d suggest you stop reading now. I have nothing to say about music. I rarely read words about music from even professional journalists. What good could possibly come from me? Whatev’s!
The first song, Art of Almost, was epic and really new. I would not not have been upset if this was the only track on the album. Even so, there are twelve more! I Might, the second, was a gift from the band for my pre-order. Already sounds like a classic to me. Enjoyed every second of it nonetheless. Sunloathe is delicate and charming. Could have been on a Beatles album and no one would have blinked. That’s it for side one of four.
Side two opens with Dawned on Me, a love song (for lovers of dirty guitar solos, solid beats and crisp whistling). Me be smitten. Then Black Moon! Opens with just an acoustic guitar running through the notes of a single chord. Others join. An electric guitar draws a few light lines along the edge of the page. A bass adds color. Drums. Pedal steel. Clapping? It all started well enough, then it got heavy. Really heavy. Kind of making me anxious. Good title, then. Born Alone lightens the mood from a melody standpoint, but the subject matter is another matter altogether. I’ll say it is a song about atheism. I’ll let you tell me I have it wrong. Open Mind is next. Romantic it is. “I could base my whole existence, Upon the cherry strands of your gold hair, I would ask almost insist upon, Treating you kind and fair.” That’s side two, folks. Is it too early to proclaim that this album is solid? Its got a real warm sound. A momentum. Only half way through the journey! The speakers are speaking pht.. pht… pht… (so it is time to lay the second disk on the platter).
Side three brings us Whole Love. Happy jumpy goodness. The opening notes on the guitar, if I could learn them, would the ones I would play over and over while I walked around town, then into the country, through the night, over some mountains, shoes now spats really (covering nothing but the tops of my feet). It is just that good. Capitol City tells the tale of separated lovers. One is in the city trying hard to love what’s there, but it t isn’t working so well. What good are the sights and sounds with half of your four eyes so far away? Standing O explodes from the first beat. It just has to be an homage to all that is right with the music of Elvis Costello. Feels like an old friend even though I have never ever laid ears on it. Rising Red Lung. Impermanence is not to be feared. That’s my take away and I am sticking to it. Thus concludes side three. Seventh inning stretch anyone (I hope I have the reference right–I know almost nothing of sport)? I see that two have called on the phone (I heard nothing). Gosh I love the hifi turned up just loud enough to keep everything else at bay.
Last side. One Sunday Morning. The LP suggests this song is LONG! The grooves take up most of the side. The second line is “O but its long.” So maybe so. I’m swimming amongst a big musical interlude. I see lot’s of Os scattered about this record. On the cover, the back cover, in a title and in lyrics. When I see Os I think about Nonin (my Zen teacher from, now, years ago). I think about his calligraphy. Often circles. Painted with such ease and honesty. I held a brush and tried once. An easy thing to do poorly, but even that felt nice. I think about emptiness (that things exist only in relation to others and, again, impermanence). I think about the futility of trying to discern beginning and end (it all flows from and into everything). Connectedness comes up. As I type a huge cloud of smoke rises from my neighbor’s porch. Not to worry (I think) as they are having new steps put on. Maybe cement is being ground. The smoke is gone now. All this during one song (One Sunday Morning is still rolling out of the speakers–getting bigger still). It was long, but I enjoyed the space it gave me to remember. Sometimes it Happens feels like an antidote to a spell I have been under. A soft landing, then pht… pht… pht…
So this experiment really did come to nothing. Still, I have no incentive not to click on the ol’ blue publish button. Just remember–you get what you pay for and this murky puddle be free.