Post-Modern White Kid Loves Fake Genius
John Carswell | Franklin, TN | 02/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yo, a couple of people obviously don't really have a problem so much with this record itself, but the "demographic" who listen to it. Well, my friends, the question is not about who listens to this, but about what kind of music the musicians themselves are making.Actually, I was very disappointed with this album when it first came out. Being an enthusiastic fan of "Millions Now Living..." and "TNT", I believed that Tortoise had lost their epic and experimental flair. Well, give it a little while to find its way into your happy place - I'm a believer now. The virtue of Tortoise's past records was all of the divergent paths that the band tried on for size. Whether it was the pastoral sonic poetry of "I Set My Face to the Hillside" or the floating "Glass Museum", Tortoise seemed to have a real flair for a sort of meditative instrumental rock.Well, "Standards" is a vastly different affair. On the whole, the sound is extremely focused, as close to a truly conventional album as Tortoise has ever come. Also, I'd say there's a bit more emphasis on American music styles, a la free-form Jazz, Funk, R&B, etc. However, the songs also tell a clearer story this time around. I know that sounds pretentious, but it wasn't until I realized that that I was able to relish this album.On the whole, it's hilarious that some people hate this music (the people who listen to this music) so much that they have to completely trash it because of the people who listen to it. I personally bought this because of my love for Tortoise's back catalogue. I suspect Tortoise is just a group of guys who enjoy making music, just like any other hard-working band. So judge them based on their records...that being said, given time, this stands strong with the rest of their work."
Cold but addicting
Ryan Hunt | 04/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I don't really write a lot of reviews on here. I just don't feel the need to give people my takes on what makes something good and what doesn't. But this is a band that I am made to review just because it's that good! I have listened to "Standards" only twice straight through now and I must admit I am addicted already. It sounds like the band members gave free access to some local school kids and let them mess around with the studio equipment, recorded it, and laid groove on top of all the mess. But somehow, it works so perfectly and with such a great vibe.
Some of it sounds like walking down a busy city street. Other times it's like being holed up in a space ship or observing a rave under the influence of...whatever. However you may see it, it is more than just a noodling of sounds with no direction. There is a heart to this techno/funk/jazz/rock album but it beats cold and loud.
This band strikes the same fire in me that Pink Floyd did when I discovered them years ago. Tortoise fans will eat this up, they've come this far haven't they? Newcomers beware. This is not going to sound like anything you've ever heard. None of these reviews will help you to understand it either. Find out for yourself, it is a ride worth taking.
The only reason this is 4 stars is that it's a little too short. Maybe because I was spoiled with TNT first.P.S I'm a very dedicated metalhead, it's really all I listen to. But these guys are an exception and believe me they are far from my norm and I find them as one of my favorites."
Everyone and their Standards...
Ryan Hunt | 12/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After buying this album and then reading some of the reviews, I felt compelled to write something.
Some people are so over-analytical and so worried/obsessed with categorizing things that they end up completely missing the true essence of what it is they're disecting. Can't you just listen to music and enjoy it without having to say, oh they're trying to do this and that and this and it doesn't work becuase blah blah blah and it's not like what they did on their last album.
Tortoise has always been a band that experiments with different genres and makes really good, interesting music. I find it amusing that some "fans" of Tortoise would freak out if an album sounds different than the last. That should be expected and desired from a band who has established itelf as a band that combines all sorts of musical styles and comes up with innovative and unique compositions. If you don't like this idea, then why would you listen to Tortoise?
I find this album title to be ironic in that sense. Everyone wants to hold things to standards. I find it interesting, some of the ways in which people criticize music. To me, music is something that should be created freely without STANDARDS.
I, myself, expect each Tortoise album to grow and sound different and incorporate new elements. I would also expect the same from anyone who liked their ST, Millions Now Living, and especially TNT. If you like those albums, Standards is the next step, so keep walking."