Archive for the ‘Music Reviews’ Category

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Music Review: The Classic Crime – Vagabonds

April 15, 2010

This album was just released last week, but I feel I have listened to it purposefully enough and have had enough time to make somewhat of a judgment and let you know my thoughts on the third album from The Classic Crime.  Thoughts after the jump.

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Music Review: Fair – “Disappearing World”

February 23, 2010

This is the first music review I have done for this blog and probably the first one I have ever done.  Sure I state my opinion about bands and CDs that I like all the time, but reviewing a new CD feels like a whole different beast to me.  For starters, I have to actually listen to a CD not just hear it if I want to review that CD.  I feel that this distinction is important because I do a lot of hearing of music while I am studying or working on homework or surfing the web, but not all of that is listening.  Rarely do I just sit down with my music for the sole purpose of listening to that music.  Some of the times it happens that while I am hearing the music, for whatever reason, it draws me in more than whatever else I was trying to do.  But for the most part I form an opinion about music because I have heard it enough and I like what I hear so I begin to listen to it.  With both film and TV, I have to completely focus on them in order to follow them, so I feel like I can review those after one viewing.

As is the case with the new Fair CD, “Disappearing World”, I already knew that I liked the band, so I tried to make a conscious effort to really listen to the CD right out of the packaging when it was released two weeks ago.  I feel that in the two weeks since then I really have been able to listen to it and form an opinion about it.

As a result of the way that Aaron Sprinkle and the rest of the band work, I had been hearing about this CD and looking forward to it for quite a while.  “The Best Worst-Case Scenario” came out in June 2006 and in the winter of 2007 I had heard that Fair was back in the studio starting work on a new CD.  That was two and a half years ago that I heard about and began to get excited about a new CD from Fair.  I don’t think it is possible for a CD to live up to two and a half years of anticipation, but “Disappearing World” had to deal with those expectations.  While I don’t think that “Disappearing World” is quite as good as “The Best Worst-Case Scenario”, it certainly is a great addition to the Fair library.

Aaron Sprinkle is a great poet and his new lyrics are on full display in this new album.  The album as a whole has a bit darker and more cutting edge than “The Best Worst-Case Scenario”, but it never delves too far into that end of the pool so as to be too depressing.  There is a wealth of age and experience and emotion in Aaron’s voice and these songs really bring that out.  There is a moment that always gets me in the track “Walking in my Sleep” where he sings, ‘Every time I breathe I tow a fine line.  What’s become of me? A sorry forced rhyme.’ and the way that he sings it combined with the punch of the lyrics just hits me hard.  That line is one of those weird phenomena where, even though the chord progression and Aaron’s voice pattern is the same while singing a different line in the song, the combination of those other words don’t nearly have the power of the first line.  I don’t know why this happens, but it does seem to happen a lot in music.

The album as a whole doesn’t quite fit together as much as I would like unfortunately.  I like it when tracks on a CD have a thematic and musical flow to them and when it feels like those tracks have a reason for being together on the CD.  Though the tone of “Disappearing World” does fit together as a whole, I didn’t feel like the CD flowed as well from track to track creating a beautiful whole picture.  It happens in pockets like the first four tracks or the last few, but “Take Some Risks” and “It’s Doubtful” are a little jarring to me.  On that note, I think that “Take Some Risks” is the only track on the album that I don’t really like.  I’m not sure why it doesn’t work, but the combination of the lyrics and having the last almost 2 minutes of the track be instrumental didn’t work for me.  On the other hand, the presence of Aaron Marsh of Copeland on “The Worst of Your Wear” was a great stoke that totally fit with the overall synergy of Fair.

If “Disappearing World” had been released a year and a half or two years after “The Best Worst-Case Scenario”, I might have overlooked these minor problem, but since I have been waiting for two and a half years I guess that my expectations had been built up to perfection.  “Disappearing World” is not a perfect album, but for the beauty of Aaron Sprinkle’s lyrics and for the solid instrumental performance of the band, I recommend that you check out this album by Fair.