This record is an important record. It borrows, mixes and combines the best fruit of many vineyards. It is derivative. Derivative in the sense that Quentin Tarantino’s movies are. They pick and choose amongst genres to find the best fit for their current vision. One may consider it a form of sampling by proxy I suppose but I think I’m then giving too much credit to the simpler notion that they acknowledge what works and they imitate it for their own purposes. Such is the way with great art traditions. IMO, this record falls into that category. Having said that I will surprise that ultimately I must give the project a thumbs down; as if that matters. Black Ribbons will become a multi-platinum, genre-blending, exquisitely produced, concept album.
Production quality: I popped the CD in my car as I began an assignment for the wife. We needed cheese dammit and neither wind nor rain nor dark of night should impede my mission. Upon listening I was not simply impressed by the production work. I was moved to fits of Parkinson’s like twitching trying to decide with whom I needed to share this amazing sound. So I resorted to punishing a friend by texting repeatedly and in rapid succession about what I was hearing while hoping to rouse his passion for Shooter and piss him off at the same time by waxing ecstatic about the fact that I got the record before him, it is amazing and he has to hear about it from me first. Women will not understand that. That is because they are a breed apart and make no sense. As such we should make no attempt to try to understand them.
The high end fidelity and rejection of convention in order to capture the right sound for the right moment provides experience after experience for those who listen with an ear for winks and nods to other artists; the list here being too long, broad and deep to offer without failing by inadvertent omission. Just believe me. On my assignment with little time to spare I missed my exit because I couldn’t stop trying to gather in everything I was hearing. This was around song two. It got better from my perspective in terms of enjoyment but worse in terms of violating my temporal mandate. The overall tone and feel reminded me of Welcome to the Machine in so many ways which would require ham fisted description that’ll decline and hope you get it instead. This record is one kid on another’s soulders staring though greasy, smokey, translucent windows heated and barely tolerable into a dystopian world and reporting to us what he sees Napoleon telling Squeeler to do. This record is not the result of a trifling effort but rather a restive mind. There much here to learn from and to be admired.
Coming soon to a theater near you; remarks touching upon…………