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Mike Keneally - You Must Be This Tall CD (album) cover

YOU MUST BE THIS TALL

Mike Keneally

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.63 | 10 ratings

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Megaphone of Destiny
4 stars First things first: Mike Keneally doesn't know how to make bad music. Second things not important: HE'S one of the finest progrockers of this century for sure. His work is always provocative, timeless, engaging, puzzling, inovative, distinct, if there's anyone with a distinct ecletic voice that marvels on the endless possibilities of music, with all the intricate interplaying, beautiful melodies and gorgeous harmonies, the odd rhythms and surprises, the beautiful guitar playing, the unpredictability of the compositions, if there's a true descendent of dupree's paradise depths, if there's something really alive going on the music of this south side of the world, if there's life pumping on each lost chord, on each chord change, on each rhythm, if there's melodic invention and expressive clarity, then, i always recall Mike Keneally's world. It is not an easy ride, though. Mike's music asks for attention, asks for definitive hearing, while hoping to surprise us with humor and lyricism. After "Wing Beat Fantastic" i was expecting a second movement for Scambot story, but instead, Mike threw us "You Must Be This Tall". Mike says he was not writing this album, it came to him. And to me, that is the whole point. Mike can always find a way to give us what is his best at all times. It doesn't matter that the album process "is going on", or is "unthought of" what is interesting is that the careful and inspired compositions are maturating in his brain vaults until the right time. That's what we feel when such a beautiful song like "You Must Be This Tall" opens the record. We feel the careful layering, the erratic pace that turns into clear intention, the beautiful guitar solo, the wayne shorter like atmospheres in an amazing composition. Then "Cavanaugh", which is stranger. Keneally dives us all into forgotten realms or simply not yet discovered. The "cavanaugh" riff sinks on us like sand. Plum is a sad little interlude with enough gentle giant questions. Eat them. "Cornbread Crum" starts with a nice beat, Bryan Beller's bass moves us, the guitar solo melts into an intricate melody doubled by piano, voices fly in, the beat moves on. The atmosphere is relaxed but the angular melodies probe something on us - it is as if Mike is playing hide and seek, or giving us only hints of what he wants to say. It is a precise yet calm precision, a re-working of silence. We hear the solo, but it doesn't sound like a solo. It is poetry, it has a dreamlike quality to it. "Kidzapunk" wants to be a punk track, but the kind of track jello biafra would write if he played marimbas. Starts with an almost african rhtythm an prossegues to give us an intricate flowing of melodies and obsessive rhythmic ostinatos, the whole song revolves around the direct punk beat of drums played by Mike Keneally(!) Like that! Pitch Pipe reaches deep in our attention. A huge melodic idea played by bass, guitar, drums and organ with an astounding grandeur. In slow tempo voices move in until the descending bass towards the end... "The Rider" is simply beautiful. Gorgeous harmonic flow, amazing singing and melody. Mike is always such a sensitive musician, his music is not for all, i agree, but what a joy it is to hear these melodies growing in your head and heart. Those who don't like. Well, they're missing the ride to an amazing lyrical world - the poetry of a bending string. "B(rian En)olarius". - 0:43 "Popes" is a strange little tune, with a strange little melody and strange little coda. The rhythm is catchy, the acoustic guitar is perfectly played. Where are we? Andy Partridge features on "Indicator", an almost imperceptible song. An ad? "5th Street" confirms the idea that the record is falling into pieces. As if breaking apart. Different directions appear. Several are rejected. We end with minimal touch. Until - With "Glop" we have a glimpse of Scambot's way. The layered composition based on guitar improvisations(?) the absence of beat reminds us we're on the other side of the record that started so definitive with "You Must Be This Tall", it is an almost tour de force for us listeners. Mike doesn't give us clues, doesn't give us a paperwall background music, - is he reallly playing drums on this track? Wow! The record ends with an ironic move, in a nice latin beat, promising us more music and exploring. 4,4 stars! Later that night...

Megaphone of Destiny | 4/5 |

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