Paige O. (Paige) from DENVER, CO Reviewed on 6/6/2008...
A great record by a group that a lot of people don't "get" but are well worth trying to get.
Joe Kickass | Vacaville, CA USA | 07/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i dont write reviews...but i had to for the furnaces. i just don't understand some of the negative reviews for this cd. honestly...maybe it's a little too inventive for it's time, if that makes any sense. the furnaces wrote these songs with no boundaries in mind, and no specific style of music to write the songs to. that's really what's wrong with the state of music. it has to fit into a specific category so people will know what to expect...so now, when something like this comes along, it's instant crap. people need to ask "who do they sound like?" or "what type of music is it?" you need to go into listening to this cd with the mindset that it is not supposed to fit into any specific category, or genre if you will. it's the furnaces making an inventive, creative, out of this world album that's fun to listen to and is completely unpredictable, and that's all. don't criticize that's it's not rock and roll, because it's not supposed to be. nobody said it was supposed to be. don't criticize that they don't write good melody's...because that's not true. and don't get me started on the lyrics....overwritten? if they had underwritten them people would criticize that they were too plain, too ordinary...and so they go out on a limb and write amazing miniature stories...and it's too overwritten. give me a break"
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 01/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every now and again, there comes an indie-rock band that really blows the mind. Neutral Milk Hotel, Radiohead and the Flaming Lips are among those bands -- and now the Fiery Furnaces join their ranks, with the rock opera "Blueberry Boat." Sprawling, quirky and musically epic, this is undoubtedly an indie classic in the making.
Piano and sputtering keyboards open the enormous intro song -- it's ten minutes long, no kidding. Then Eleanor Friedburger's sweet, singsong vocals kick in, singing a sprawling pop song. It sounds like a child's nursery rhyme on acid, full of deceptively simple rhythms, sparkling melodies and Inuit words tossed into the mix. A sugnacoon, by the way, is a coat.
That ten-minute opener also gives an idea of what the band is all about -- strange ideas, set into stories against a backdrop of indierock. Echoing guitars and swirling keyboards fill up the gaps between their story-songs, which focus on everything from a religious dog in the fuzzy organ-pop "My Dog Was Lost But Now He's Found," to doing legal work in guitar-heavy "Mason City."
If you want to get technical, nothing here makes sense. But like Neutral Milk Hotel, it makes sense if you ignore all your musical senses, and just listen to it by itself. The wild stylistic changes in the middle of songs, the nonsensical lyrics, and the mix of acoustic and keyboard seem like a trio of death knells for this album. Instead, they add to the magic and whimsy of it.
At first glance, the songs seem incomprehensible. Or worse, absurd. But just keep listening -- sooner or later it clicks, and the unique writing of each song shines out. The songs overflow with onomatopoeia (note: words that sound like sounds), childlike rhymes, and bizarre subject matter like pirates robbing the "blueberry boat." Perhaps the best representation is the first song -- "Quay Cur" has a lot of words that sound like nonsense, but turn out to make perfect sense once you look up what they are.
While the Furnaces got lots of praise for being catchy in their debut, here they don't stick to hooks -- whenever you think they're going to do so, they veer off. Instead we get unabashedly sparkly melodies, handclaps and eerie keyboards that sputter, ripple, hover and spark. The piano gets the best workout -- sometimes it tinkles, sometimes it ripples, sometimes it gets thumped into a dance-hall rhythm.
Sibling musicians Matt and Eleanor Friedberger share vocal duties -- Matt sounds a bit grimmer and down-to-earth, even when he's surrounded by keyboard washes. Eleanor throws herself entirely into the singing, with plenty of humor about lines like, "I kicked my dog... I was MEAN to him before!" She sounds genuinely shocked about herself.
The concept album is not quite dead, and the Fiery Furnaces have done their bit to keep it alive. To call their charming, eerie critique/concept album a future classic isn't too much of a stretch."
It's making me write a title for my review
Francois | 04/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i like this album. a lot. did you see how many stars i gave it? i meant it. i understand not really liking it too (i guess). recommendation: listen to it several times before deciding. my experience: it was kind of annoying the first time i heard it. i stuck it out (because i'm a trooper). now i think it's great."