Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Black Heart Procession|
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
With 2, the aptly monikered follow-up to the band's debut, 1, the masterminds of cult favorites Three Mile Pilot and Clikitat Ikatowi continue their dark, inspired collaboration as the Black Heart Procession. Nearly an hou... more »
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With 2, the aptly monikered follow-up to the band's debut, 1, the masterminds of cult favorites Three Mile Pilot and Clikitat Ikatowi continue their dark, inspired collaboration as the Black Heart Procession. Nearly an hour's worth of music, 2 is an entrancing collection of songs composed with unusual instrumentation (sheet metal and the waterphone are cited in the liner notes) and lyrics that will make even the most hardened of criminals weep. The funeral-parlor piano and bass on "It's a Crime I Never Told You About the Diamonds in Your Eyes" is reminiscent of Grant Lee Buffalo's earnest first record, Fuzzy. On the hypnotic and dense "A Light So Dim," an eerie saw and piano back Pall Jenkins as he sings in his trademark moan, "If you are the lighthouse in the storm / I'll be the ship filled with a thousand dead souls." Not light fare. But not pretentious, either. Heartbreak and agony have never sounded so good. --Kerry Murphy
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Oh, it's black alright
Wheelchair Assassin | The Great Concavity | 10/07/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ah, 1999. A pretty lousy year for music as I recall. I couldn't walk five feet on my campus without hearing the Dave Matthews Band (that's what I get for going to the whitest college in New England, I guess), the musical atrocities of Limp Bizkit were in full swing, and the success of bands like Creed was a harbinger of even greater horrors to come from the likes of Nickelback and Puddle of Mudd. Fortunately, although it wouldn't reach my ears until a few months ago, the Black Heart Procession provided a diamond in the rough with this classic release. In fact, if not for the virtually unlistenable "Blue Tears," we could be looking at a five-star album here.
It's tempting to call this fare "mood music," but the Black Heart Procession's work encompasses a much broader array of sounds and emotions than can be classified with such a simple term. The band's eerily minimal compositions, combined with Pall Jenkins's hauntingly poetic lyrics, could perhaps best be described as music for a rainy day right after your wife has left you and your dog has died. Perhaps most notable is their mix of instrumentation, which seems to change on every song. The band's bare-bones arrangements of piano, guitar, and drums are augmented by a variety of founds sounds ranging from saw to waterphone to trumpet to a ton of other things (more on that later).
The album is bookended by the complementary tracks "the waiter no. 2" and "the waiter no. 3," two impossibly dark numbers that conjure up images of middle-aged guys in low bars drinking whiskey and remembering their lost loves. "a light so dim" is a masterful epic, building from a subdued beginning to a symphony of clanging percussion and pained vocals. "Your Church is Red" takes some simple steel guitar work, throws in a few bizarre organ and sheetmetal (!) sounds and twists and distorts it all until it's a perfect complement to Pall's creepy imagery. A tear-jerker if ever there was one, to be sure. "when we reach the hill" is about four minutes of pure despair that makes brilliantly malevolent use of a Moog synthesizer, while "gently off the edge" perfectly captures the soul-crushing mood suggested by its title. "it's a crime i never told you about the diamonds in your eyes" is actually pretty catchy, as Pall wails more of his odd lyrics over some forceful rhythms courtesy of drummer Mario. "beneath the ground" is an eerily translucent, oppressively atmospheric tune that should not under any circumstances be combined with alcohol.
While I don't think I could assemble a whole CD collection of stuff like this, as I'm depressed enough much of the time as it is, "2" is still essential for those looking to add something beautifully depressing to their listening rotation. At any rate, it certainly beats the Norah Jones gayness that seems to find its way onto my stereo whenever my in-laws come over. Highly recommended."
Hauntingly beautiful work of art...
Johnathon Wilde | Woodbury, MN USA | 05/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had the most delightful good fortune to see The Black Heart Procession as an opening act for Wire in L.A. recently. I had personally never heard of them previously, and I was pleasantly surprised by their performance and their music. I immediately searched for their CD, "2", and hoped that it was as good as the live performance. I can honestly say that I wasn't disappointed at all and instead the CD delivered exactly what I was seeking. This is a beautiful work of art that shall be prized in my collection for eternity. I see this album as a bizarre cross of Tom Wait's "Frank's Wild Year's" era music with Neil Young's vocal style and mellow acoustic work, sort of placed in a blender and then drank with a chaser. However, this album in no way is a copy; this is simply the only way I can describe this music. Absolutely a stunning release. I hope that the Black Heart Procession will get the recognition from this album that they rightly deserve."
A musical triumph
Nathan Downey | Calgary, Alberta, Canada | 12/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Out of the ashes of Three mile pilot,comes the sombre group "Black Heart Procession." With some of the freshest and most original sounds of the decade, the group's second full length release is a spectacular amassment of brilliant song writing. Full of dark, moody piano riffs, augmented by hard-driving drum beats and minimalistic guitar lines, this album is loaded with songs ranging from simple dirges to epic exusions of sorrow. Certainly an album for those dark wintry days. Particularly notable is BLue Tears, a John Prine-esque ballad boasting bluesy use of the pump organ, or A Light So Dim, which is a melange of wailing vocals, a saw, the waterphone, all centered around a cataclysmic piano riff. This band's originality is generated by their use of obscure instruments such as the waterphone, which produces strange, unearthly percussive harmonics, as well as the musical saw, whose wailing voice seems to reaffirm the loneliness of the music. This is truly an amazing album, certainly not a light album. There is a lot of emotional content on "2", more so, i would say than its predecessor. The Procession's lilting melodies are simple and soothing and at the same time, raw and raging. It is an impressive display of songwriting and musical innovation. "2" is a must have in any collection."