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02:17 PM on 05/04/11
#1
Blake Solomon
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saving this spot to post in-depth thoughts later on tonight. but i will say, i've been having to pace myself with this record, because I don't want to burn out on it haha. so good.
12:22 AM on 05/05/11
#2
Blake Solomon
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Do want to read, quote me later so I don't miss it.
First I'd like to say that I don't quite understand when people say, "it took me a few listens" to get this record. If anything, I think it is their most immediate work, because although the songs may, tonally, sound varied, it is truly their most cohesive record. Their is a thread running through Simple Math that is more like a huge fucking lasso, roping us all in, and that is of course Andy Hull's expressive pipes. He does a lot of similar things with his voice (ending cadences with a high-pitched lilt, often using very staccato notes, etc) and since this is, for better or worse, a concept album in that it tells the story of a time in his life, it would be incorrect to say something as trite as, "There are a lot of different types of songs on Simple Math."

In fact, i don't think there's been an album compelling me to listen from beginning to end like this in a long time. But also, I think the amazing thing here, is that he has taken something so personal, that a lot of his fan base is too young to understand, and found a way to make it universal. He said in an interview, "I am not dumb enough to think people won't place their own meanings on top of mine." And it's that attitude that makes for long-lasting attachment.

But all that mumbo jumbo, in a way, is moot. Because I honestly don't feel the need to sit down and analize why I like this album. Rather, I felt this thing in my bones, as iffy as that sounds, telling me that this was what I needed. Telling me that this piece of art was something that would stick with me, and to an extent, change how I thought about certain types of rock music.

When it comes down to it, we all just want to be lucky enough to find something that makes us happy. And although it's unfair to say, "Thank goodness he went through this because look what came of it!," that's exactly how I feel. This isn't really an album to me, because albums have become disposable whether we believe so or not. This feels more like a book, more like a page-turner that requires dissections and discussions of motif and theme.

Simple Math, obviously, is not an easy album in many ways. But to me, it was the easiest album to love in a long time. Bravo to these dudes.
01:52 PM on 05/05/11
#3
Blake Solomon
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I know you got quoted a lot on this one, because it was really well written. However, I don't really know what you mean by this, would you mind elaborating a bit?
the album itself just doesn't hold the same weight as it used to. For a lot of bands, it makes sense to release a bunch of EPs, because they are short and we don't have to wait to download them and they play by and we decide, yes no maybe. The album as we know it, with 45+ runtimes and songs or movements throughout, just isn't something we as a listening public cherish as much anymore. Because when you stop seeing the physical copy, the concept of album becomes a little less meaningful. Not to say that I don't like/love buying music through itunes, because I do (mostly for space reasons), but I think we don't get as mad when an album has bad songs. Because we just delete them or re-order things.

But Simple Math is different in that it was clearly made to be this way and it is meant to be played a certain way. Not a lot of albums lately have forced me to hear the whole thing through on multiple occasions, but this one's musical bell curve, if you will, is so perfectly constructed that not hearing it altogether is almost as useless as not hearing it at all.
01:54 PM on 05/05/11
#4
Blake Solomon
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How many listens did it take for everyone to click? I'm through 3-4, and while it's "good," this just isn't hitting me as hard as the reviews would lead me to believe it "should."



Mean Everything to Nothing.
i guess i'm one of the rare ones where this was instant. All of their other albums have taken me time to get into, but not this one. Maybe that has something to do with it. Because people keep talking about this being a "departure." But this album reminds me of my favorite songs on Mean Everything to Nothing, which I found to just be a good album.
03:06 PM on 05/05/11
#5
Blake Solomon
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also, i think at least purely musically (eveything but Hull's voice/lyrics, basically), "Apprehension" is my favorite song on this record. Those drums, man, those drums.
01:15 PM on 05/06/11
#6
Blake Solomon
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I've been coming back the review thread to keep up with how this album is sinking with everyone. Wow - I'm very gald I continue to after your thoughts. Thanks for that. I'll be listening again shortly. I've made it through the album about six times and, like yoi, I cannot really listened to it without gping start to finish. I think that aspect of this record is just amazing.

One complaint that i've had about the record is that I miss the heavier edge of METN, but I love the new direction. Also, the lyrics alone on the album one of the best i've heard in probably a few years. It's terribly moving stuff....are their any interviews with Andy regarding his personally life, around the recording of Simple Math otherwise?
if you find the page on ifc.com where they debuted the video for Simple Math, you can read Andy's description of the album. It's awesome and sheds a lot of light on where he was coming from with this record.
01:59 PM on 05/06/11
#7
Blake Solomon
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Thanks. Sorry about the typos - on my phone and once it's typed it's set in stone.
i am immune to typos!

and i'm glad people digged what i said. It was kind of stream of consciousness, clearly, but I was in the zone while enjoying the record and it just kind of took over.

Man this record is good.

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