...and this is our Music

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Click for availability and more information ...and this is our Music, by The Brian Jonestown Massacre

A bit of a throwback, this one is. Not so much musically (but there is a bit of the past that surfaces there as well) but rather, conceptually. "...and this is our music" sounds like it was envisioned and written with a certain "wholeness" in mind, the same way bands used to put out "albums" instead of singles or videos. While all the tracks are strong, none stand out. The songs are played and arranged with assured confidence. Sixteen musicians overall are credited in the liner notes (including the Holy Spirit for "just kicking back and doing his thing"). It takes a close listening to discern just how much is going on. An organ drones, casually anchoring the songs. Horns appear frequently, meshing with the fabric of each tune.
BJM's leader and brainchild Anton Newcombe (one of the most intriguing narcissist timebombs in the history of rock) has toned down the bands sound, which in the past veered more into the retro garage territory. This time around, he still hearkens back to the 60's for his musical inspiration but adds his own, more contemporary touches. While the music may be more subdued, the song titles and subject matter still touch upon the classic rock and roll cliché of drugs ("Prozac vs. Heroin" and "A New Low in Getting High"). This time, however, the songs are put forth with an air of melancholy and resignation. It's almost as if Newcombe and his band mates feel as if they no longer have to try to impress people. With quiet resolve the band appears to be looking backwards and realizing how lucky they are to have come out of their hedonistic rock and roll past relatively unscarred. It's that resolve that is in evidence in these songs. Life isn't easy for hell-bent artists who live past their point of departure. While there's only one Keith Richards, there are thousands who've wrecked themselves the same way, and in Newcombe's defense, he realizes he's getting off light.
-Stephen

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This page contains a single entry published on October 31, 2004 10:09 PM.

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