Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Eleventh Dream Day|
Zeroes & Ones
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
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One of the best of 2006
D. Cook | Massachusetts, USA | 01/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This year I was introduced to Eleventh Dream Day based on an enthusiastic recommendation to buy the re-release of Prairie School Freakout. I was pretty blown away by that (their first, sort of) album, so I had to explore more of their stuff. Next up was their latest, Zeroes and Ones, the subject of this review. I'm not sure if I like this better than Prairie School Freakout or not, because they're very different. Much has changed in the 20 years between the two records. Where Prairie School Freakout sounded like kids just jamming away in a garage (or barn), this one sounds like, well, adults doing the same damn thing, but without sounding like they're looking back or treading old ground in any way. I'm not going to go track by track, but this record is phenomenal. There is not a weak song on here, and everytime I listen I find a new favorite. "The Lure" will grab you right away. Later, you'll realize how amazing "Journey With No Maps" is. And "For Martha". And the other nine songs... A bunch of great songs, and perfect for a late night drive. If you love good rock music with edge, this is it.
Eleventh Dream Day should be more appreciated."
Steady, more focused if less exhilarating
John L Murphy | Los Angeles | 08/17/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I write this as a fan who's been listening to the band since (the now newly re-issued) "Prairie School Freakout" grabbed me and never let go. The streamlining of a longtime indie band's sound, two leaders of the band who are partners, and a cleaner guitar sound: it could be Yo La Tengo, but this new record from one of America's best indie bands and longest lasting, is closer in approach to of another album that came out (with a bigger budget, savvier media profile, and critical acclaim, predictably) a couple of months later, Sonic Youth's "Rather Ripped."
EDD labors in the trenches and their albums have never let me down. They are a dependably strong band, and I only wish they could record more often than what's now every three years or so. EDD goes back nearly as far as SY, to the mid-80s, and they on this album sound less strained in their trademark Neil Youngish phrasing and emotional heights and lows. The album does not have as many up-tempo, speedy tracks. Twenty years on, these understandably get fewer for most any group.
So, what's different? Their hometown Chicago studio precision honed by a John McIntire-influenced (note Tortoise connection!) sharp edgy sound of their indie-label albums since A&M dropped them a decade ago here is softened. The album tracks move along at a more consistent rate, but fewer of them stand out. For instance, the first four all plug along at about the same pace--this is not a feature of past EDD records, which loved to veer about rather than stay in the middle of the road.
"New Rules," and the last three tracks, delve deeper into the recognizable EDD jangle-meets-chug-meets-squawk, alternating male-female harmonies, and ragged lyrical glory. This is the band's signature sound, and what they deserve acclaim for. The rest of the songs, while all done with care, don't leap out at me as much. The band works best when cresting and swooping--bringing their melodies down to a mournful lament or up to a dizzy climax. Perhaps more playings will display the band's craft better--they do have a new keyboardist as a regular member now, and this stability may take a while to make its effect on the band beyond this one album.
The album moves quickly, but its efficiency seems to downplay the experimental, extended exercises that show the band stretching out around the guitars & drums more imaginatively. If EDD is trying for a different direction, it's not exactly clear from these mixed if respectable as ever results what it'd be. I'd give it 3.5 stars on the Amazon scale if I could, but by comparison with their best albums from the past decade on Thrill Jockey, this one falls behind a bit. So, as with "Rather Ripped," "Zeroes and Ones" is a fine if not daring album by a dependable, intelligent band that remains (much more for EDD, however and unjustly) on the margins of the indie-experimental genre for over 20 years."