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Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - Of Natural History CD (album) cover

OF NATURAL HISTORY

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.14 | 228 ratings

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cookieacquired
5 stars Oh boy, first review. Here it goes...

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum's second album, Of Natural History, is quantum leaps and bounds ahead of it's predicessor, Grand Opening and Closing in every way. This would be the review simply put, but I feel that I should expound upon the album's virtues a bit more to do it justice. Lyrically speaking, the album is rich with deep, thinking man's type lyrics about humans and their place on earth (or what people think their place on earth might be). There could probably be no better vessel for this concept than Nils' voice. He could be one of my favorite vocalists working today because his voice can be very expressive. Though he is not the only singer (I also do love Carla's work on the album), his voice is the most promiment and stand out when listening.

Musically, this album is amazingly original to the point where the band has made its own instruments that they play. Though they still do use conventional instruments but instruments like the log make for a very distinct album. The underlying tone of the songs usually lies somewhere between sinister and evil, though tongue-in-cheek is also present. The music is good in that it traverses a prodigious number of styles from ambient, to metal, to just plain spoken word hitting whatever else deemed pertinent along the way.

And now, I do an overview of some of the songs. I first start with a warning that I will not do a full in-depth song by song review that does a detailed analysis of the plot, and I implore people to read other reviews to get a feel for them. Now that that's been said, the albums kicks off with "A Hymn to the Morning Star", which could easily be visualized taking place in a grand cathedral, Nils belting out the lines from a pulpit with Carla as his choir behind him. It then transitions nicely into, "The Donkey-Headed Adversary of Humanity Opens the Discussion", which is probably my favorite song off the album. It is the heaviest song and wouldn't sound out of place on Sleepytime Gorilla Museum's debut album. It is a fun song to me, and does well to lay down the theme and plot of the album. The chorus, "MANKIND IS A PLAGUE", is sung with a lot of force and could be one of the best lines ever uttered in a song. Another favorite of mine on the album is "FC: The Freedom Club" which epitomizes the album's sound as it describes the mindset of the Unabomber. I also like "Gunday's Child", which is the next song, and a great anti-war song. The final song I give a nod to is "Cockroach" which is just an overall very fun song which says a lot in its brevity. Again, I love Nils' voice here, where the overblown theatrics make it pretty comical.

The album clocks in at over 70 minutes, though it seems shorter. The only place the length of the album is felt is when listening to "Babydoctor". Overall I deem this album not to be missed, and urge those who haven't already gotten it to buy it and listen to it. Those who already have bought it, I tell you to listen to it again and relive how awesome it truly is.

cookieacquired | 5/5 |

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