How is this "The Freed Man"?
Andrew Kruczek | Dearborn, MI | 07/31/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A lot of good memories are associated with Sebadoh's "The Freed Man." I used to play my LP copy a lot during high school about 10 years ago. It was totally inspirational for me recording with my own four-track at home. Luckily back then, I was able to find a copy on cassette just in case something happened to the vinyl. It's low-quality stuff (audio-wise), but it has a nice feel to it.. not only do-it-yourself, but you-too-can-do-this. Even today, playing these songs makes me want to dust off the four-track all over again.
However, this reissue from Domino Records, assembled by Eric and Lou, doesn't have "The Freed Man" resembling what we're used to. It had 32 songs. They cut out "Careless Mind Hands," "Growing up with You," "Burning Out," "Why Do you Cut off your Sleeves?" and "Mothra." The fun between-song transitions we've grown to love are mixed all over the place. Some are totally missing.. some in new places.. Some of the remaining songs are alternate recordings, some slightly longer mixes. Then they added 25 rarities, some of which are very welcome, like the rare 7"'s from the time period. (Though not all the songs from those are included either.) All these 52 tracks are thrown together in a type of random-shuffle mode that bares no resemblance to the original LP running order. It would have been nice just to put the original 32-track album first, then the rest as bonus tracks, instead of this revisionist history.
That being said, the 79 minutes here just fly by, and you're caught up again in Lou and Eric's lo-fi tapes of the late 80's. The sound quality is actually quite improved. Much better than before, with a lot of tape hiss removed. It's a solid document of the time period.. I just wish they wouldn't call it "The Freed Man." It includes most of those songs, but if you have a spot in your heart for these recordings like I do, then don't throw out your Homestead vinyls and tapes when you pick this up."