The Weekend Review: September 2011 Report

Originally posted 2012-01-01 16:00:17. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

September was, for me, the slowest new music month of the year thus far, but if the only music released in a thirty day span is a brand new Wilco studio album, you’ll find me a happy camper each time.  Jeff Tweedy and company have yet to disappoint me, and regarding The Whole Love specifically, Wilco has rarely impressed and entertained me so greatly (probably only once before; can you guess on which record?).  Read on…

The Whole Love (Wilco)

Producer: Jeff Tweedy, Pat Sansone, and Tom Schick

Released: September 27, 2011

Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Top Two Tracks: “Born Alone” & “Dawned on Me”

From start to finish, The Whole Love exemplifies the Wilco experience: traces of what you’ve come to love, unexpected turns (particularly, this time around, in “Capital City”), and a careful sequencing that unites twelve distinct songs along a single thread.  Bookended by relatively lengthy experimentation in the distortion-drenched, feedback-fueled romp “Art of Almost” and the pleasant acoustic twelve-minute narrative “One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend),” the majority of the tracks on The Whole Love are concise efforts, ranging from the retro-stomp of “I Might” to the lush acoustic production of “Black Moon.”  On most tracks, it becomes clear that it is not so much that Wilco is an experimental band so much that they are innovative in their arrangements, in their seemingly instinctive sense of how to blend movements in songs, which instruments to bring high in the mix when, and how best to (subtly) layer in beds of synthesized sound for atmosphere.  From start to finish, The Whole Love is a striking effort: one of those albums that yields up new revelations with successive listens, one that begs to be left alone when the twelfth minute of track twelve fades and cycles back into to the first tentative moments of “Art of Almost.”  If you hear only one new album this year, I would posit that Wilco’s latest disc is the most expansive, complete, fully rendered of them all; a true must-listen.

The Weekend Review: August 2011 Report

Originally posted 2012-01-01 12:41:46. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

 

Tripper (The Fruit Bats)

Released: August 2, 2011

Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars

Top Two Tracks: “Tangie and Ray” & “You’re Too Weird”

On Tripper, quirky, folksy retro rockers the Fruit Bats fall into a comfortable groove, kicking off with the drug-induced experiences of the alliterative “Tony the Tripper,” following up two tracks later with the tale of “Tangie and Ray,” and later adding “Dolly” into the mix.  The Fruit Bats spin a veritable world across the eleven tracks on Tripper, adding bird sounds and what could be a stream to “The Banishment Song,” laying down warm, (dare I say it?) trippy atmospherics throughout.  Thought the album falters a bit near the end, it is overall true to their form.  It doesn’t have the same concision or catchiness as 2009’s The Ruminant Band, but it is, all together, a strong fifth effort from the band.

 

I’m With You (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Producer: Rick Rubin

Released: August 26, 2011

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Top Two Tracks: “Factory of Faith” & “Police Station”

This was a good year for rock, in quality if not in quantity.  Earlier this year, I held up the Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light as one of the best rock albums in years.  I’m With You doesn’t quite ascend to that mark, but it is an outstanding rock album all the same: killer guitar, great bass, and all-around passionate performances.  From the well-arranged “Monarchy of Roses” at the start of the album to the standout tracks placed deep in the track listing, I’m With You delivers fourteen strong rock tracks, incorporating a range of sounds developed throughout the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ career.  “Factory of Faith” is catchy with punchy vocals, “Brendan’s Death Song” tempers a heartfelt lead vocal and guitar while caressing the eventual buildup beautifully, and even a less exceptional track like “Ethiopia” brandishes impressively expansive production qualities.  And this is only to comment on the first four tracks, never mind the true standouts: the gorgeous production and energy on “Police Station” and the epic quality of “Even You Brutus?,” to name only a couple.

“Threshold” (Chris Moore) – Original Wednesday

Originally posted 2011-08-03 11:16:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to my first true Laptop Session in quite a while — since December, to be specific, when I covered the Goo Goo Dolls song “Laughing.”  Well, I’m back today with an original song from my new album, The 2010 Project, which was released just a couple weeks ago.  In fact, the day after my album hit the web for download, Mike Fusco (who mixed and produced it) and I went to see the Goo Goo Dolls.  This was our second time seeing them — and I won’t repeat what I wrote about them back in December — but suffice it to say that it was exciting going to see a band with so many anthemic songs, a group that can create such energy and drive the audience so masterfully.  And look like they’re having the time of their lives on stage.

We left the concert revved up: proud of the project we had just completed the day before and excited for new music to come.

So, now that a couple weeks have passed and I’ve had the opportunity to play The 2010 Project songs live again, thinking of them as whole songs to perform rather than in pieces (as I did during the recording sessions), I had the itch to return to the Laptop Sessions and debut those songs that haven’t been seen and heard here yet.

This is the second track on the album, “Threshold,” and one which stands out from the rest for the fast delivery during the verses and the statement of purpose in the chorus that could very well be the thesis statement for the entire album.  For this video, I (for obvious reasons) couldn’t include the guitar solo performed on the studio version, so I broke out my “E” harmonica and worked out a simple solo and added some flares to the beginning and end of the performance.  It clocks in at under three minutes, and is a good example of the type of music I’m making these days.

And, for those who have heard the demo version, this is a significantly improved arrangement!

I also recorded “You Will Thank Me” as well as the single from the album “It All Comes Around,” so check back for those videos in the coming weeks.

See you next session!