So its like this. A/J, whose debut album I have previously reviewed HERE. His sound is one of Floydian backing tracks with ear-filling single note bass, with his guitar flying high over-head. Quite the tapestry. Well, for all you lucky dicks, I have the basic tracks for his next album coming out sometime this year, called Colors.
The idea for the album comes from- as the name suggests- various colors and their musical equivalent. That said, which track corresponds to which color depends on A/J, to be honest, and we will keep announcing all such advancements on our facebook group HERE. Follow us.
Now the stuff that I actually got to review were unfinished demos that A/J had. What that means is not-Phil spector-production, incomplete basslines etc. Even so, I have a few impressions to get ’em out, and have the opportunity to see a work-in-progress albums and moot upon its strengths and weaknesses.
The name of the album comes from various colors and their musical equivalents.
First up, it seems A/J did read my review from last time, and there is much more straight up melody than in the last one. There relatively a lot more meandering there. This one has more structure to the melody. A/J is clearly moving forward. There also a much greater emphasis on basslines, such as in ‘Three four’. If there is one thing this world needs, it’s more basslines. The fat ass strumming on ‘It’s Muddy Out There’ is another step in the direction of bottoms up. Compare it to the last one, where the bass parts were dictated by the guitar parts and provided the sort of halo to the sound that Adam Clayton manages in U2. And on some songs, such as ‘Tree Top Green’, there is even some evidence of slapping! Nothing like a technique to change articulation and sound.
The electric guitar tone is the midpoint between Jeff Beck and Steve Vai. The acoustic tone is a DI sort of sound devoid of acoustic ‘noises’. Such treatment works very well for A/J’s music which is of the produced and layered sort. It’s used to great effect on “Rustic Waves”, which has got a great riff, which would do really well with some more structuring. That said, the rough edged soloing is not bad at all, and makes for some great improvised sound reminiscent of early Cooder and Beck.
What is great, and good news, is that none of the songs start alike or have the same vibe. ‘Nocturnal Dream’ (heh, dirty joke), has a darker vibe than just about everything else on this album. ‘Floating Vibe’ is a romantic song waiting to happen. Same is the case with great cuts such as ‘Inner Space’, ‘It’s Muddy Out There’ and so on and so forth. Its far from schizophrenic though. It’s the layered Porcupine Tree-like sound which defines this album and A/J music in general, and I’m looking forward to more.
Watch out for more updates on our Facebook page HERE.