Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|J. Ralph, Various|
Music to Mauzner By
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
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The whole album rocks, but the re-release is the masterpiece
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This fantastic album is all-encompassing and completely unique at the same time. The whole ensemble of styles and emotions is worth the purchase, although I would recommend buying the re-released version, with "One Million Miles." I heard the song in a Volkswagen Passat commercial (the "wedding day" one from the Superbowl) and was so moved by the music that I contacted VW to find out who it was. They told me it was J. Ralph, so I bought this album, which didn't contain that song but was a great find nonetheless. I then found the re-released version--with the VW song--through (web site name). "One Million Miles" is a gorgeous, trippy tour de force with beats, bells, strings and stunning operatic female vocals. It truly makes your heartbeat quicken. The rest of the album strays from that song's style, but not from its emotional expression and compositional genius. It only took a listen or two before the mix of styles grew on me and I was playing the CD all the time! Check out the j.ralph website for some interesting insight into this guy's life. He's fascinating--a modern media renaissance man, if you will."
One of the greatest modern albums of all time
E. J. Sawdey | Galesburg, IL United States | 10/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes ... an extremely boastful title. First off, know this: I've been listening to music almost as a philosophical extension of myself for six straight year, owning well over 400 albums (bought, might I add), and while I've heard some extremely good stuff and some extremely bad stuff, few albums truly bubble to the surface and make their lasting impression.Few albums truly meet that category: The Avalanches' flawless "Since I Left You"; Aesop Rock's "Labor Days"; Basement Jaxx's "Rooty", Beck's "Sea Change", and albums by DJ Shadow, Mr. Lif, The Flaming Lips, Four Tet, and others coming up.Yet, Spy's "Music to Mauzner By" is the best.Period.The albums is flawless for many reasons. The first is simple track-placement: the energy goes from high to low but the quality maintains throughout. The opener (and single) "Baby" is a piece of 80's heavy-metal fit for a 90's dance floor. The energy is relentless. Yet, the closing number, "Untitled 17" is very slow (and will be mentioned in a bit).Yet, the fact that Spy (J.Ralph) covers almost EVERY GENRE in modern music. While he doesn't exactly bust a rhyme, hip-hop beats are heavy influences to his music. He does classical (the aforementioned "Untitled 17"), disco ("Mauzner Detroit"), dance-rock ("31 Seconds"), a spy-movie instrumental ("The Desert Suit Conspiracy"), jazz ("Goonies"), gospel ("Stay Away"), full-out pop ("Won't You Come Down"), shares a bit of country (the two-minute electric violin solo in "Fire It Up"), and even mariachi ("Leonard's Lounge"). And, oddly, he does all perfectly ("Leonard's Lounge" isn't a pop song with mariachi influences ... it's a mariachi song). It's amazing. Additionally, simply his layering is phenomenal (in "Desert Suit Conspriacy" - he uses four different sections that are completely different, then, at the end, plays them all over each other ... and it works fine).While some parts may not be as appealing as others (the 70's rock-inspired "Wanderer"), the whole scope is epic. Again, the beautiful "Untitled 17" is absolutely beautiful, fit enough to pull tears from a film's climatic moment. It's heart-renderingly beautiful.There are few albums as truly wonderful, touching, and flat-out perfect as this one. It's worth every cent, and stands as one of my favorite albums of all time, hands down. I just might be yours too :-)(P.S. Now at the iTunes store, J.Ralph released his second album "The Illusionary Movements of Geraldine & Nazu". It's all classical-based (including "Untitled 17" and "One Million Miles Away") including a new opera he wrote ("M"), and other moving works. Well worth $8. Go J-man go.)"
Mauzner all the way home.
Dissection | in my pants. | 03/19/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I discovered Spy like millions of others: on TV. One of their song was featured in a Passat commercial. It was love at first hear. The few days following my experience of the car ad were spent looking for the oh-so independant artist and his four minutes masterpiece. I really didn't know what to expect from the album, probably something similar to William Orbit's Pieces In A Modern Style. Unlike the prodigal producer's effort, Spy's CD was not disapointing.This record is amazing. The first track, One Million Miles Away (from the VW commercial) features stunning female vocals over strings and an infectious underlying beat, with a wicked wah-wah pedal sound thrown in at the end section. The song is perfect for everyone nostalgic of the days when Portishead were dishing out magic of this sort. A few songs (Won't You Come Down, Wonderer, Bulletproof) are ecclectic mad-hat capers that almost make you forget that Beck will never do this type of music again now that he's pledged his soul to Ron L. Hubbard. Spy dabbles in techno with his ode to Mauzner Detroit, and these are the only moments when the production slips, where the work sounds like it should have been left on the drawing board. And to make sure he covers every style of music you might enjoy, the CD finishes with Untitled 17, a classical opus which features a full orchestra. And it's really good too!This album is a gamble. Those looking for fifty minues of One Million Miles Away will be sorely disappointed. But if you have an open mind and an open ear, if you're just as comfortable with Aphex Twin as you are with Beck, then bet on this. You'll thank me."