Review Summary: Shut Up I Am - writing a review of one of the best albums I have ever heard.
"Shut up I am dreaming"; a fitting name for an album that demands the listener to escape into the world this album has created for them, a carnival scene of colour, sound and emotion; not the kind of emotion that would suggest Spencer Krug (lead vocals) has been drinking alone by the moonlight for a few years, but the full range. "Shut Up I Am Dreaming" takes us through joy, veers teasingly close to sadness and settles somewhere in between carefree and reminiscent.
This album is nothing if not rich, the liberal use of keyboard effects and the constant hum of sound in all but the quietest songs make for an album that never pauses to take a breath. The carnival atmosphere is not so much created with the lyrics, but with the music itself. It's not unusual to hear a heavily distorted guitar next to a honkey-tonk-style piano or even 5 instruments going full-pelt at once, fighting for your undivided attention.
"Shut Up I Am Dreaming" hits the floor running with the explosive intro of "Stadiums and Shrines II", only to calm down after a minute or two. They are looking to create an atmosphere, but Sunset Rubdown are aware that they need to add contrast to give the listener the full effect with each listen, which shows itself in the general formula of most songs of starting off loud, going quiet and then building back up again. There are exceptions of course, such as "The Empty Threads of Little Lord" which is almost exclusively acoustic, but the trend is noticeable.
If you're looking for something energetic, you can't do much better than "Snakes Got a Leg III". The fast paced nature, with a hint of manic desperation from Krug "They’re back at my ears with their nevereverending calling and their calling/ Their c-c-calling" results in something rather special indeed. It's party music, not because it's easy-listening and has a loud bass-line, because it doesn't, but because it demands carefree excitement and celebration to go along with it.
Krug's voice is often brought into question by those new to Sunset Rubdown, it's an acquired taste. However, once you learn to love it you don't want any of Sunset Rubdown's songs sung by anyone else. He has a voice fit for storytelling with an epic edge, often sounding like the effort he's putting into each song is about to make him collapse. Which from our end is a good thing, not so much for him though.
This isn't the kind of album you can pick up and like instantly, it takes work. If you want an album that's just a little bit different, that lures you into its atmosphere and keeps you there, I'd say you should give this album a try. It's 2011 now, it was released in 2006 and I've kept coming back to it all these years.
"Not the kind of emotion that would suggest Spencer Krug (lead vocals) has been sitting in a 1-bedroom flat for a few years, drinking alone by the moonlight, but the full range."
This isn't a sentence and also the wording is a bit awkward, I get what you're trying to say but perhaps you could just change the wording around a little bit.
"If you want to own something that should keep you hitting repeat as soon as it finishes in the hope that you'll skip out the 3 second silence before it does it for you just so you get straight back to the music again, I'd say you should give this album a try."
This sentence is a real mouthful and I think it tries to portray an idea that's just a little too overblown/unnecessary... you could probably just take it out altogether or replace it with something a tad less bombastic.
Also, in general, I'm not sure if you totally justify rating this as a "Classic", obviously you say plenty of good things about it but I'm not quite convinced from reading this that this album does indeed deserve that 5 rating. Other than that, a very well-written review, nicely done :]
I like Dragonslayer quite a bit, I'll have to check this one out eventually.
Maybe I'm being picky, but this review could really use a transitional sentence or two between paragraphs,
everything seems so disconnected. It really helps when each paragraph flows off of the other. Also I agree if
ifghtffyrdmns, not enough here for a 5. Not that you didn't do a good job, just that when you put a 5 on top, that
requires a higher burden of proof. (what separates this from every other album on the planet?)
but yeah, great review. keep writing man. Adding this album to my unusually short listening list.
PS. Shit ECR Rubs...me and you have the same number of comments... it must be a sign.
Transitional sentences could be doable. To be honest with you I was wondering whether or not the paragraphs need to flow into each other but seeing as they do I'll work on that a bit with the next one. Thanks.
Just to clarify, I'm not saying that every paragraph needs to be transitional, and that you should go squeezing
transitions at every point possible. It's not so much of a "need" thing as it is a "this review just seems disconnected"
thing. But, at the very least, put transitions where they work, and make sure that the paragraphs build on the ideas
of the paragraphs that come before it. Flow doesn't only come with words but also connectiveness. Best advice: Read
staff and contrib reviews, it's probably the best way to learn how to make these reviews click.