As I write this, my eyes feel as if they are falling out. Perhaps due to lack of sleep and endless hours of infomercials and television re-runs, my circuits are basically fried. For occasions like this, there are only a few things that I can do: stay up and listen to soothing music, drink caffeinated beverages, or go back to sleep. By now it's already late morning, so sleep is out of the question.
The solution here is Six Organs of Admittance's School of the Flower
, a collection of songs that seems as if it were intended for this very purpose. A project of the always busy Ben Chasny (also of Comets on Fire.), Six Organs create some of the most intriguing and beautiful music today. Whereas Chasny's other main venture infuses elements of progressive rock, Six Organs take a more delicate approach to music, assembling fingerpicked acoustic passages with ambient drones, guitar feedback and other characteristics of 'experimental' music.
On their eighth album, Chasny and Co., which includes free jazz drummer Chris Corsano, show progress in songwriting capabilities and their penchant for creating amicable yet thought-provoking music becomes even more apparent. Heading off the album is "Eighth Cognition / All You've Left", a possible reference to the album's place in their discography or the eight songs (ideas) contained within, begins in a light flurry of drums and keyboard. As the percussion fades away, gentle acoustic guitar and Brian Chasny's understated, echoing voice enter the realm. We get our first glimpse of the moderately speedy finger picking on "Saint Cloud", which slows down into a piece full of slow chanting that gradually increases in volume throughout the rest of the song, accompanied by layers of noises.
In comparison to the rest of School of the Flower
, the title track seems to be an unwanted demonstration of repetition and the possibility of putting the listener in a trance-like state. However, this is only apparent in Chasny's acoustic plucking; percussive work and other elements remain much more interesting as they wrap around the mundane passage. This twelve minute workout gives one the feeling that the rest of School of the Flower
is merely a bunch of pop songs, though this is hard to deny with melodies so comely and deliberate. As I finish writing this, my eyes don't feel so much falling out, but as if they're content to remain somewhat detached. I actually decided on listening to some music, if you hadn't figured. "Lisboa" (named after the Portuguese city) seals any sort of reluctance that one may have to loving School of the Flower
; with such a simple melody executed with such charm, how could a human being not enjoy this? This is an album that will leave your eyes falling out, but for all the right reasons.