Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Deeper In: Musical Surgery


Above: Creepiest feature banner image ever

When an album's release is initially announced, sometimes we're greeted with a track list of sixteen, seventeen songs. First reaction? "Awesome! I love (said artist) so the more songs, the merrier." More rational and usually the correct reaction: "This record is far too long for its own good."

I understand it, from a musician's perspective. We bust our asses recording a full song, meticulously overdubbing and mixing it to perfection. They're our children, really. And it's really, really hard to tell one of those children, "Sorry, you're not going with the others." At least I assume it would be if I ever got off my ass and recorded a full album. But I digress...

But sometimes, good songs just don't fit. Look at Radiohead: They managed to leave fucking "Pyramid Song" off of Kid A, despite going on record as saying it's the best song they've done. But they realized its lush strings and dense arrangement wouldn't work on a spacious, ambient album like Kid A.

I wonder what other albums could benefited from similar restraint. So I thought of a few. Then I thought, "Hey, I have a blog--why not write about those albums." So I did. And thus provides us with this month's The Deeper In feature. I'll pull on my latex gloves, sterilize my scalpel, and do a little hypothetical surgery on six albums that I believe could stand to trim down a bit.

I'd like to underscore the notion that this doesn't just mean dismissing the throwaway tracks. It means considering elements like sequencing, thematic appropriateness, and things of that nature. I'm sure I'll sometimes feel like a high school coach who has to cut a player he's fond of, for reasons that will benefit the team as a whole. Hopefully the track will use it as incentive, and one day thank me for my stern treatment.

Anyhow, keep an eye out over the course of the month. First feature should go up tomorrow.

1 comment:

dianne727 said...

I'm seeing a Ryan Adams blog in the future based on this concept...