Wednesday, July 1, 2015

CD Review: BBJr. "The History of Western Music" (Nova Labs)

[$8 // ]

This is a collection of out of print and previously unreleased material by BBJr. but I like to simply think of it as lost and found.   And you know, as I'm listening to this and processing it all for the first time, I got about halfway through and thought to myself about how it just captures the various styles of BBJr. but I just hadn't heard him sing on any of the songs yet.   And then on the tenth song, "In the Jupiter Lighthouse", the vocals come out with an acoustic guitar and space laser gun to prove me wrong.   It was just such great timing because I had remarked in my notes how there had not been any vocals yet and then on the next song, there they are.

The story for me on this BBJr. album is that the music you find on here is of vastly different lengths.    There are songs from what would seem like every length you could want here.   Some are your couple of minute songs or slightly longer, as you would normally think of, but then the last track is nearly twenty minutes and there are more than one which clock in at under a minute.    "Telethon Feet"- the thrity one second number- is a bit of bass and drum jazz thrash but it is seemingly as powerful and worthy of being on this collection as something ten times its length.   I come to expect that when you have these songs deemed as "previously unreleased" it was for a reason and so I tend to think of that label as implying that they are scraps or fragments but that is simply not the case here as every song seems as vital as the last.

From pianos and pretty guitar sounds like Randy Newman to electronic skips which reminds me of "Hackers", from sharp and loud bursts to deep, Phantom of the Opera undertones, from a banjo to guitars in waves, this is what you should know from BBJr. by now but it just becomes now a matter of how he uses these tools.    I'm never quite sure whether BBJr. is going to create something between electronic noise or just flat out rock, but all of those elements can be found on this CD just the same and the idea that you don't know what's going to happen but have the general idea of instrument set he will use just makes this so exciting.    Because really in some ways you know, sure, but on the whole, no, I have no idea what to expect and that just makes it so exciting.

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