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THE BOTTOM HALF

Umphrey's McGee

Crossover Prog


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Umphrey's McGee The Bottom Half album cover
3.56 | 25 ratings | 3 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1: (51:01)
1. The Bottom Half (5:49)
2. Bright Lights, Big City (3:43)
3. Great American (3:11)
4. Higgins Sir (0:28)
5. Higgins (6:51)
6. Memories Of Home (4:21)
7. Atmosfarag (4:38)
8. Red Room (3:35)
9. Intentions Clear (4:55)
10. Home (3:28)
11. Divisions (10:02)

CD 2: (67:27)
1. Words (a cappella) (1:07)
2. Great American / Believe The Lie (3:20)
3. Believe The Lie (3:04)
4. Time Eater (0:31)
5. Never Crease (3:54)
6. Rocker (3:34)
7. Ready Noodles (0:11)
8. Higgins (Instrumental) (4:27)
9. The Heart Of Rock And Roll (0:18)
10. Fresh Start (3:02)
11. The Browning Special (0:31)
12. Ocean Billy (3:29)
13. Intentions Clear (2:38)
14. What Else? (0:57)
15. Alex's House (3:45)
16. End Of The Road (3:06)
17. Red Room Disco (2:03)
18. Rocco (2:32)
19. WWS (0:17)
20. The Weight Around (3:23)
21. Liquid (2:38)
22. Atmosfarag (1:56)
23. Words (Chorus) (1:58)
24. Memories Of Home (3:58)
25. Browning Family Creed (1:43)
26. Biscuits & Gravy (0:04)
27. Words (Intro) (2:00)
28. Words (Instrumental) (7:01)

Total Time: 118:28

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Brendan Bayliss / guitar, vocals
- Jake Cinninger / guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Joel Cummins / keyboards, vocals
- Andy Farag / percussion
- Kris Meyers / drums, vocals
- Ryan Stasik / bass

Releases information

CD Hanging Brains Music
CD Sci Fidelity Records

Thanks to Rivertree for the addition
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Bottom HalfBottom Half
Sci Fidelity Records 2007
Audio CD$6.83
$4.43 (used)
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UMPHREY'S MCGEE The Bottom Half ratings distribution


3.56
(25 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
16%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
20%
Good, but non-essential (44%)
44%
Collectors/fans only (20%)
20%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

UMPHREY'S MCGEE The Bottom Half reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Umphrey's Mcgee have yet again managed to produce a CD with a strong sense of identity and a unique presence in their 2007 studio release The Bottom Half.

Mixing influences from reggae, jazz, funk, pop, rock, hard rock and country the 11 tunes on the main album here are melodic, relaxing, slick and mostly mellow pieces, and a mix between melancholy and uplifting moods served the listener.

This is not a CD containing songs that will grab your balls and demand attention; and certainly no potential hit songs here either, but more a CD you will pull out and give a spin whenever you feel like listening intently to soothing but experimental art rock and fusion. The CD may be to mellow for some though, so a first listen before buying is warranted.

Fans of the band will enjoy this release from start to finish I believe, and the bonus CD containing outtakes and alternative versions of tunes from their latest releases is really something for the fanboys.

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Send comments to Windhawk (BETA) | Report this review (#170511) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, May 10, 2008

Review by Slartibartfast
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Local band does so-so.

After being completely blown away with my first Umphrey's McGee album, Mantis, I knew I had found a band whose catalog I'd need to "raid". Local Band Does O.K. was quite good also, so I went for their two currently available live DVDs. Those were just as impressive. Then I went for Anchor Drops and Safety In Numbers. Again two more hits. Then I ran into a wall with this one. Maybe their least progressive and my first disappointment. May be over-saturation.

Turns out this is on one disc a collection of songs or alternate takes that didn't make the cut for Safety In Numbers. The second disc is miscellaneous outtakes. All I can say is they must have been on a creative roll when they did Safety to have another disc's worth of material, but I'm kind of wishing I'd saved my money for something else. Not to slam the music on the main disc, it's just that stylistically it's on the whole less prog than what I'd been becoming accustomed to. But, what the hell, even their lesser stuff is quite good.

It may be intentionally ironic that the album cover is symbolic of the contents.

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Send comments to Slartibartfast (BETA) | Report this review (#211882) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, April 20, 2009

Review by Wicket
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars A masterful disc of music combining everything glorious about the world of music.

Umphrey's McGee has become one of the great new jam bands that has swept the nation. Not only do they improvise in playing many different styles of music together, but they manage to play a progressive style of music while maintaining a free-flowing structure throughout their live shows. They've literally become a breath of fresh air in the world of jam bands, and music in general.

It's interesting to see this band on Prog Archives, and yet fitting to see them in the Crossover Prog section, because they essentially are. Start up the first track on "The Bottom Half" and the first things you hear are a slow groove accompanied by a smooth sax, light flute and broad guitars, before a quick reggae stint swings back into the main groove. After a catchy chorus sucks you in, the band delves into a hard rock headbanging groove before a few atonal solos come back into the main groove accompanied by Metallica/Tenacious D- esque guitar solos reminiscent of 80's thrash metal.

Keep this in mind that this is the only band in the world (that I've heard) that covered the Beatles' Abbey Road suite and Metallica's "And Justice For All" in the same live show.

I never even mentioned the avant-garde-esque instrumental section in the middle of the song. With most bands that I praise so highly, I can't say anything more than to listen to the actual song/album. The title song is already a good prog track, but then "Bright Lights, Big City" kicks into this psuedo-disco feel and it turns into a great driving song. Now, for most jam band fans (don't know how many are on here, but whatever), the key for a good jam band is to not only have good improvisational songs ("Great American"), but also some very catchy songs that anyone can listen to ("Intentions Clear").

Another interesting facet about , not only this record, but the entire band, is that they're a very light-hearted group of musicians. They're one of a select few bands that can start a very ambitious song with a screw-up, start over and keep that screw-up in the song on the studio record. They're not perfect and they don't want to come across that way. In fact, the second disc is mainly songs the band did in their spare time, snippets of other songs ("Words", "Higgins", "Atmosfarag") and cuts of band conversations ("Time Eater", "Ready Noodles"). They're another humorous bunch in the jam band world. Of course, most are (Phish, String Cheese Incident, The Disco Biscuits), but these guys really do show it in their live shows.

Keep in mind that many of their good songs (and some more progressive tracks) will only be found in live shows. Like Phish, Umphrey's has become infamous with playing songs at live shows not on studio records such as "Eat", "40's Theme" and "Bridgeless". Be it as it may, they know how to entertain a crowd, no matter what music they're playing. They've covered bands from The Beatles to Metallica, Billy Joel to Spinal Tap, Pink Floyd to Talking Heads. They're no stranger to any genre of music. They know how to appeal to everyone. They know how to create catchy music while throwing atonal notes and chord progressions familiar to prog fans.

And it works. The Umphrey's Cocktail works. Now, it might not have been as recognizable on, say, "Local Band Does O.K", but 10 years in and this outfit is going stronger than ever before. So, let me tell ya, if you're looking for one of those groups that plays spirited music while staying laid back and free-flowing, Umphrey's will fit your bill.

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Send comments to Wicket (BETA) | Report this review (#566290) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, November 11, 2011

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