Ok, White Bear is coming Friday and I think it’s time for a review.
Will it be objective ? Yes, it will not be objective. We’re speaking about music and music is always a subjective matter.
I was lucky enough to get the album, legally, with the now infamous “Amazon leak”. It was digitally released from the 18 December 2015, until the next monday. The album is “spinning” everyday since then. Approximatively 5 to 10 times a day, depending on what I’m doing.
I was tempted to do a review like : “One guy has left the band, one is banging the drums while 2 are playing a six strings instruments. One wasn’t rich enough to have 6, so he got 5 strings. Oh, one is singing and dancing but he isn’t as good as Shakira. The sound they’re producing is like the music my grand-father was listening, but they’re not, for the moment, on wheelchair.” That’s not far from truth, Shakira shakes her booty way better than Phil. This said, I’ll process with a good old fashioned track by track.
One last word before beginning, as I’m French, I’ve tried to express the more precisely the feeling on each song. But it’s a bit hard to put the real right word or expression on it. 🙂
So Movers, let’s move on !
01 – Three Bulleits
One word to qualify the song: Single.
Actually the first song to be officially out. I must admit it was hard to get into it. After listening to the whole album, it fit perfectly. A lot of work and maybe a keyboard at 0:57. Damon is playing with his drum sticks and it’s great. It’s like the muted guitar on Hotel California, it’s a little thing but it’s great in the song. And I guess nobody will notice it.
02 – Get Yourself Free
One word to qualify the song : Funky
The first listenings were hard too. I needed many of them to fully appreciate the song. I really like the fact that the song isn’t full of guitars, sometimes there’s space for the bass and drums. The vocals harmonies are really great.
03 – A Pleasant Peace I Feel
One word to qualify the song : Jimmy Page meets Joe Perry (ok, it’s more than one word, but it’ my blog)
Massive song, martial drumming, a wall of sound. Many listenings are needed to begin to hear the work behind this one. A big break in the middle. Nick’s work is enormous on the chorus. This song has an orchestral feeling. Why Page/Perry ? Some parts sounds like Kashmir while a riff reminds me Living On The Edge. And I quite like both songs.
04 – Modern Massacre
One word to qualify the song : Rock
A straight in your face song. Pressure is getting higher and higher to finally explodes in your face. There’s no need of many musical layers to have a percusive song. Phil voice and Damon’s bass drums are enough powerfull to achieve this aim.
05 – Battle Lines
One word to qualify the song : Bass
I like the bass on this song, there’s a funky feeling in it. A lot of guitars effects that sounds “robotic”. The guitar riff and the bass at 0:55 are really, really great. It reminds me a lot of the great Sail Away from Deep Purple.
06 – White Bear
One word to qualify the song : Aaaahouuuuuuu !
It’s a mix between a ballad and a rock song. The chorus seems to roll on and on, like the tide on the shores. The vocals harmonies are great, they gave another dimension to the chorus.
And white bears are all what I see.
07 – Oh Lorraine
One word to qualify the song : Damon’s glory moment.
And Nick’s bouncing bass. Massive, massive bass sound in this track. A corner of my living room is now “Nick’s Corner”. All the bass sounds are concentrated there. Better avoid it on this song !
Damon’s drumming is marvelous, groovy. Phil is like Ali G: In Da House.
08 – Magnify
One word to qualify the song : Magnifyque
It’s, for me, the highlight of the album. The start is very progressive and sounds like the Rolling Stones, this feeling remains along the whole song on vocals. Guitars are constructing a great layout that explode later with a great fuzzy riff and the song is gone. It’s rocking all the ways. Some effects on the guitars that makes the song thicker. A mix beetwen the Stones and Oasis.
09 – The Sun And The Moon Roll Around Too Soon
One word to qualify the song : The Bends
Heavy song with a circus feeling (at 1″50) with a lot of bends for the guitar. A slow, but heavy, beginning. You don’t need to make many notes to be heavy. Many small licks are making the song really enjoyable.
10 – I Hope I’m Not Losing My Mind
One word to qualify the song : Where’s my mind?
A peaceful song for the last track. Guitars are like violin. An intimate singing from Phil. A proof that TTM can ever do stripped songs and be percussive.
The solo suits perfectly the song. Great job !
11 – Time Won’t Leave
One word to qualify the song : Wonderful
I put it here but it’s only available with the iTunes release and on the lovely 7″ from Flying Vinyl. The acoustic version was great but this electric version is really great too.
Listening to it on vinyl for the first time was really a great moment. It’s another stripped song with great vocals harmonies. It’s one of my favorites with Magnify .
A very good album. There’s more musical layers than the first one, more work. But the TTM’s spirit is always here and recognizable. A big job has been done to makes the songs more consistent musically : vocal harmonies, more guitars, an exceptional rhythm section and Phil in a great shape. It’s hard to have a day without hearing it.
Some people seem to await the same sound, same musical structure as the first one, maybe like AC/DC. It’s not the case and, IMO, it’s better. I don’t want them to repeat endlessly the same riffs and licks.
So, what’s next ?
15 monkeys out of 10. Yes. Why not monkeys instead of stars ?
And why couldn’t I put more of them ?
Thnaks Philippe fore hte corections. 😀