Search - Ken Stringfellow :: Soft Commands

Soft Commands
Ken Stringfellow
Soft Commands
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1

Includes 2 tracks not on the USA version.

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Ken Stringfellow
Title: Soft Commands
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rykodisc UK
Release Date: 10/18/2004
Album Type: Import
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop
Styles: Indie & Lo-Fi, Adult Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 014431069321

Synopsis

Album Description
Includes 2 tracks not on the USA version.

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CD Reviews

Now let's not be hasty
myself | 12/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I notice a lot of complaints that this record is different from Ken's other work. I won't deny that's true - it is quite a departure - but I don't agree with those who have written it off based on that. Ken Stringfellow is my idol and although I was slightly put off by the absence of his usual guitar pop, a little attentiveness reveals the same personality in these songs that graces everything he's written. The magnificent melodies, vivid poetry, and overwhelming emotion are all there, though communicated differently. "When U Find Someone", "For Your Sake", "Cyclone Graves", and "Death of a City" all have a grand, anthemic quality that makes them instant classics, in my opinion. "Cyclone Graves" has incredible and inspiring lyrics, and is a favorable contender for my personal top five songs of all time. I also love the European-sounding ballad "Je Vous En Prie". About half the songs are less emotional than Ken's usual stuff, and don't excite quite the same love - but they have a great deal of personality and are loveable enough in their own way. I think if you like Ken Stringfellow for the quality of his songwriting, and prepare yourself going in for something different, there's no reason you wouldn't love Soft Commands."
Together we can burn the world
J. Davis | Shelton, WA USA | 08/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"OK, it's not the stunning power pop of the Posies, but fans of good songwriting can't go wrong with this one. Quieter, more piano, less guitar. But Ken's voice is stronger than ever here, and melodies and images from these songs will linger. The first tune to grab me was "When U Find Someone," sonically a perfect knockoff of Beach Boys harmonies, but dark, initially confusing lyrics about George W driving Saddam to lover's lane, to slip him a cruise missile I presume. The military-sexual metaphor would make Elvis Costello proud, not to mention the earnestly-delivered refrain, "together we can burn the world." "Any Love," "Known Diamond" and "Death of a City" are also standouts."
A surprising change of style!
W. Rabeneck | Arkansas United States | 08/12/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"At first, I was a little put off by this album because it is so different from his previous work. But since I have really enjoyed his work with the Posies, and his first two solo albums, I continued listening to "Soft Commands", and found that, though it's not an instantly compelling album, it gets better with repeated listens.

Possibly, the main flaw of the album is that, other than "Don't Die Young", most of the songs fall into the ballad category of songs. And though they are good songs, I found myself getting a little bored by the lack of extreme tempo changes. This album would have been easier to listen to, all the way through, in one setting, if there had been a couple more fast and mid-tempo songs thrown into the mix.

That said, around my seventh or eighth time listening to the album, I found that I like these songs a lot better if I listen to them two or three songs at a time, rather than trying to listen to the whole album straight through. Ken has really written some good, stately songs for this album. "Known Diamond" and "When U Find Someone" are particularly standouts.

"Known Diamond" might be Ken Stringfellow's best song to date. It is a very stately, soulful ballad. It really deserves to be a hit, and a 'standard' that other artists would cover in the future. I could really hear Elton John or Joe Cocker having success covering this song, even after making changes to make it fit their individual styles.

"When U Find Someone" reminds me of a Beach Boy's style ballad musically, while the story of the songs lyrics reminds me a little of Don Henley's "All She Wants To Do Is Dance" because the basic gist of the story is that "The country may be at war, but ain't it good to be in love with this girl?"

Overall, I find this to be a really nice album. As I said earlier, you might have to listen to it several times before it really starts coming together for you; and it listens better as individual songs than it does as an album that you can play straight through; but it really does have some good songs that you'll find creeping back into your mind later, when your not listening to the album."