Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Glow, Pt. 2
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
The Microphones continue to boldly expand and expound upon the possibilities of analog recording. Their third full-length for K and fifth overall, is a sprawling 67-minute masterwork, sure to earn the group the undisputed ... more »
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The Microphones continue to boldly expand and expound upon the possibilities of analog recording. Their third full-length for K and fifth overall, is a sprawling 67-minute masterwork, sure to earn the group the undisputed title of experimental pop's MVPs. Impeccable songwriting laden with hooks, a widely varied palette of instrumentation, potent lyrical paintings, and interspersed sound tweaks that serve to lace everything together. Comparisons to the Elephant 6 collective aside, "The Glow Pt. 2" transcends psyche-pop and lo-fi tags to blossom as the most actualized and daring album of The Microphones' young career. Re-issued and re-mastered with additional songs and material. Limited to 2,000 LPs.
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The first great album of the 21st century
Craig Clarke | New England | 04/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't believe it has been seven years since The Glow Pt. 2 was first released (and six years since I first heard it). Now, listening to the 2008 reissue with 20 additional tracks (available on 2 CDs or 3 LPs), the most amazing thing about revisiting it is not that it still stands up, but that it still seems very ahead of its time, even today. (The extra tunes are interesting in context, but not vital to the casual listener.)
The Glow Pt. 2 has long been described as Phil Elverum's masterpiece, and I have to still agree. Its songs flow together wonderfully whether you listen to them individually or in mind of the improvised concept (tied together sonically by the tugboat sounds played underneath throughout -- they're very clear during the quiet spots).
And listening with headphones enhances the experience. In fact, I would have to say that the sonic depth is so amazing that headphones are vital to experiencing the full majesty of The Glow Pt. 2. And Elvrum's sweet, high voice adds to the effect. On no other album have I felt as if the music entered through my ears and swam around for a while, not quite able to escape.
This is all because Elvrum (later Elverum) was not afraid of experimentation. Each song has its own distinctive sound. The dual acoustic-guitar sound at the front of "The Moon" has to be heard to be believed. (For the origin of that sound, listen to "The Pull" from It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water.) And his creativity is always surprising. What seems at first like noise, after a few listens unfolds itself like a blooming bud to reveal all its layers. Only after repeated listens do you come to appreciate the imagination -- one would almost say "genius" -- involved in the making of The Glow Pt. 2.
But even such a personal record cannot be done alone -- not and remain faithful to its analog roots. Several of Elvrum's friends helped out. Most noticeable are the angelic voices of Khaela Maricich (of The Blow) and Mirah on a few tracks. I became a Mirah-phile through my research on this album. In fact, over the past six years, I have become rather well versed in the K catalog -- from Little Wings to Tender Forever, from Beat Happening to Old Time Relijun -- and it all started with this album.
For a while, Elvrum seemed to embrace his soundscaping abilities, agreeing to produce albums for his friends (Mirah's C'mon Miracle and Jason Anderson's New England come first to mind), but after the release of the more ambitious (but less accessible) Mount Eerie, things took a different turn. He changed the name of his band to the name of that album, and the music became more stripped down and even indie-er than ever before once he opened his own label, P.W. Elverum and Sun. (For example, one of the first Mount Eerie releases, Eleven Old Songs from Mount Eerie, merely contained Elverum's vocals accompanied by an old Casio keyboard.) The last we heard from "the Microphones" was a live album that managed to consist of all new material (Live in Japan February 19th, 21st, and 22nd, 2003) and a 7" single containing a couple of daily-life-oriented protest songs ("Don't Smoke" and "Get Off the Internet").
But, though Elverum is currently serving a different muse than the one who led him to create The Glow Pt. 2 (and I don't fault him for that -- you've got to follow your bliss, and he does it to the hilt), it's nevertheless great to be able to go back in time, so to speak, and recapture the days when a guy with a vision, immense creativity, and some friends combined to make the first great album of the 21st century."
Samuel Mark Liebrand | 04/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"*WARNING* one flaw with this reissue: the case. while i love paper cases (and think that record companies should put an end to the ugly, useless, breakable plastic cases), this one is especially flimsy. So flimsy in fact, when i finally was able to get my hands on this beautiful record (i discovered it more than a year ago, but it was only available used on amazon), and tried squeezing the sides of the sleeve, and i was horrified to hear and feel and gentle ripping noise. there's a gash on the cover now. if and when you get it, be very, very careful! the material is much more fragile than it first feels.
otherwise, beautiful record. i'm no poet, so i'll leave it at that. i highly recommend it to anyone who loves folk indie."
Rarely has being so lonely, cold and heartbroken felt and so
David M. Madden | salt lake, utah United States | 04/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For those who missed out the first time around in 2001, The Glow, Pt. 2 is Phil Elvrum's magnum opus as far as his The Microphones project is concerned (currently he's Mount Eerie). His approach for this album is a complex simplicity that few singer-songwriters get right: diary-style lyrics that silence everything around you, supple acoustic guitar and ornate orchestration that pour shame into those who didn't try harder during sound recording classes. Panned guitars, field recordings, room noise and all manner of "kitchen-sink" instruments are all manipulated and made subservient to Elvrum's words and concepts ("Something" and "Something (cont.)" also stands as one of the greatest sad-and-gorgeous to noisy-and-ominous interludes ever recorded). For those who already own it: you get a splendid bonus disc of "other songs" and "destroyed versions" Elvrum wrote during that time. Rarely has being so lonely, cold and heartbroken felt and sounded so wonderful."