josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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29 Oct '01 07:03:51 AM

The way "Following Through" is constructed: the bass doesn't come in for about a minute, by which time the guitars and drums have already set up an undeniable groove (this is fast-driving-on-the-open-highway music, here). When it plays in the verses it's very sparse - more like it drops its notes in, and it varies the clusters that it drops. For the bridge, where a greater push is needed, it starts playing eight notes (?) where it sits on notes.

Later on they use a building-layers-back-up approach after everything has fallen out, to get the song going again before the end.

29 Oct '01 07:00:49 AM

What's more, those last four songs come after a slow acoustic number (thinking this is in some way parallel to the place of "The Jitters" or maybe even "You Are Invited").

29 Oct '01 06:48:44 AM

Lots of song structure is milked out of the artful use of key changes and time changes partway through songs, which I suspect allows for more latitude in the parts between the modulations.

29 Oct '01 06:46:43 AM

People have been saying this is a more laid-back record, or one for playing late at night. I'm not sure I agree. Maybe somehow it's more contemplative, especially lyrically. But it's still moving music - music well-suited to playing during movement. And plenty noisy and loud and rhythmically busy too.

And oh jesus the drum-and-bass song. In theory having a 'real band' play a drum-and-bass song (the rhythm section, at least) might not be much different from having it done in the studio. But because of the contrasts set up, and probably just Easley's inventive drumming, "The Other Side" seems a lot more exciting, in certain ways, than lots of drum-and-bass that I've heard. More cross-pollenization like this, please. The sense of keeping-up is important.

29 Oct '01 06:37:39 AM

In fact, besides a few more noticeable chimey post-punk guitar 'solos', Jason Caddell seems to be more omnipresently chimey here. Despite that I think his greatest addition to the group is his relative restraint.

Everyone is restrained, though, in that they play things that seem understatedly appropriate at many points.

29 Oct '01 06:33:58 AM

"things that chime", Sterl sez he likes. Lots of chiming here.

29 Oct '01 06:33:37 AM

"Time Bomb": the sense of forboding from the lyrical parallelism, the sense of crisis from the music (this is totally ungrounded, but it could be that like lots of the songs here, long stretches feel like bridges to more straightforward songs, in some sense - but in this song the sense of crisis is heightened from what the guitars are doing - and the bass tends to be higher, less grounding), the quick drum fills (the first of which made me want to jump as I was coming down the stairs Saturday night).

29 Oct '01 06:29:34 AM

Without masking perhaps the sense of ambivalence and lack of explanation he often seems to have of his feelings (and me committing the fallacy of identifying the narrator or singer with the songwriter), it seems like here Travis Morrison has made even further strides in precisely expressing his emotions lyrically. I don't know all the words, so I'm not sure how accurate a perception this is. No small wonder that this would appeal to me, though.

29 Oct '01 06:25:39 AM

I'm not really interested in comparing the two yet, but it seems at the moment like I might be able to draw a comparison between Change and Emergency & I on the basis of album flow - particularly the ways they close. Change's last four songs are all great, and that seems to map over the the end of Emergency.