Tortoise
Millions Now Living Will Never Die


4.5
superb

Review

by Chris Jackson USER (177 Reviews)
November 26th, 2005 | 52 replies | 24,332 views


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist


1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Forming in the mid 90's Tortoise is a post-rock band. I know that there are many popular post-rock bands such as Godspeed You!Black Emporer and Explosions In The Sky, Tortoise is very similar to those bands. The thing that makes Tortoise slightly unique is that all of there work is instrumental. There are no vocals, while this can be annoying for some people the music actually works better with out any instruments. Once again Tortoise is an isntrumental post-rock band that can be compared to the bands I mentioned above. I will warn you right away that this music is not for everyone and you might have a hard time getting used to it.

Millions Now Living... is Tortoise's sophomore album, and possibly there best. I prefer TNT over this, but only slightly. This album is 42 minutes long, and the albums opener Djed is an epic 21 minute masterpiece. This song obviously takes up about half of the albums length so it is the centerpiece of the album. This epic opener speaks for the rest of the album. It is comprised of mellow, atmospheric moments and then there are some slight rock influences. Millions Now Living... is soft, atmospheric, mellow, lazy, and moody. Tortoise keeps things from getting old by adding in soft gentle guitars, a nice drum and rythm section, and they manage to mix in an organ and a lot of dub effects. Tortoise is a very experimental band, they keep things from getting dull and boring by mixing a lot of instruments and moods. If you want some amazing instrumental post-rock than this is the perfect album.

This is a very atmospheric and soft album. Even though the word rock is part of post-rock this is not rock music. Post-rock is when a band uses your typical rock instruments to create a non-rock sound.

The thing that makes this album truly unique is the way the songs are crafted. Djed goes through so many mood and instrument changes, it is incredible. The track goes from quiet dub effects, to a rockish guitar riff, all the way over to a soft drum beat and bassline. The changes are very smooth and you can still tell that the song is broken up into several parts. The instruments change a lot throughout the song, but the mood remains atmospheric and lazy. The other five songs on the album are not b-sides, some are actually better than the opener. The Taut And The Tame has a very rock influenced guitar riff, backed by some jazzy dub effects. It is an awesome rock influenced track, and it is possibly the high point of the album. ASurvey is a more subtle, and atmospheric song, but it still remains from being boring by the instrument changed. None of these songs are bad, and this album is very consistent. Tortoise is a very experimental band. They add in a whole slue of instruments and make this album very cool and mellow.

Millions Now Living... is intended for headphones, and it works best when you used them. The thing that makes this album so good is that it is still a great listen without headphones. You can use this album to chill out too, it is very mellow and smooth. Even though this is still effective without headphones, to get the full effect you should probably use them. That being said this is a great post-rock gem. Mellow, smooth, experimental, lazy, reflective and soft. That basically sums up how this album sounds.

This album is very accessible. There are enough funky grooves and nice, gentle guitar lines to keep things interesting. This album will take a few listens to get into, it took me about three listens to really get into this album. Once you get into this it is very rewarding. Millions Now Living... is an inventive album, despite being as experimental and exciting as it's procedures. There are a few electronic computer effects in this music, but not as much as previous albums. Tortoise has moved away far away from there stale debut album, this album will keep you guessing and things never get old. Millions Now Living... has some groovy hooks here and there, and when you combine that with some instrumental post-rock the outcome is very good.

Overall I would say that this album is a forgotten post-rock gem. There are no bad tracks and I would put Tortoise up with bands as good as Explosions in the Sky and GY!BE. Once again all of these songs are straight forward instrumental tracks, there are no vocals so consider yourself warned. The whole load of instruments used creates an atmospheric sound without being dull and boring. Millions Now Living... is very jazzy, and experimental. Tortoise uses dub effects quite often which is very different from your typical post-rock band, creating even a more unique sound. If you enjoy experimental, instrumental post-rock music than this album is the best you can find.

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

Pros: Instruments - Song Structure - Not a bad track - Jazzy, mellow feel

Cons: No vocals

Recommened Tracks :Djed - The Taut And The Tame



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Rudd13
November 26th 2005



952 Comments


How come my reviews always tend to get washed away from the home page so fast... :upset:

Storm In A Teacup
November 26th 2005



12702 Comments


Zebra, I must say this is one of your weaker reviews. It's pretty much a t-b-t which is surprising considering how you critisize people when they do them.

Zebra
Moderator
November 26th 2005



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I only really described one song, and that was because it takes up half of the album. I actually think this is one of my better reviews. Remember post-rock is a hard genre to write about because the music is very ambient and you have to listen intently to get all of the musics detail.

I will edit on your request, but please give me some time.

Storm In A Teacup
November 26th 2005



12702 Comments


Also you had a few grammar mistakes as well. Just pointing out.

Zebra
Moderator
November 26th 2005



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think that I fixed most of it now, please tell me if there is anything else that needs to be changed.

Neoteric
November 26th 2005



3243 Comments


Your first paragraph, Explosions In The Sky are also instrumental.

Zebra
Moderator
November 26th 2005



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I added on some more info that I felt was needed. Thanks for the helpful criticizm guys, I think it really improved my review.

If there is anything else that needs to be done please speak up.



AbysmalFace
April 2nd 2006



35 Comments


You said that they differ from other post-rock outfits in that there are no vocals, but EitS is alo an entirely instrumental group.

Kage
April 22nd 2006



1173 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This has taken place of TNT as my favorite Tortoise record. It has a bit more of a warmer feel; that's the best way I can describe it. Djed is extremely unique; I've never heard anything remotely like that before, and given that I'd never heard anything similar to Tortoise before, that's saying a lot.

I've really been getting into the first wave post rock music lately (Tortoise, Bark Psychosis, Slint, etc.) and Tortoise stands as one of the best.

CharmlessMan
April 23rd 2006



169 Comments


I don't know much about this band, but I'm sure they are a big inluence on Graham Coxon.
How long have they been around for?This Message Edited On 04.23.06

Kage
April 26th 2006



1173 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

They came around in the early-mid ninties. I believe their first album was officially released in 94, around the same time Bark Psychosis and Slint were popping up as well.

STLMiguel
May 27th 2006



335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album seems to be the band's most focused ... I'm really just now giving it the attention it deserves and it certainly grows on you. I still dig Standards more, but this is still great stuff.

Cygnus Inter Anates
July 29th 2006



721 Comments


This album is pretty much awesome.

AlienEater
October 10th 2006



716 Comments


I still don't have this. I really want it.

Apocalyptic Raids
July 27th 2007



810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I prefer TNT to this album, although I haven't spent nearly as much time with it compared to TNT.

DWittisarockstar
October 22nd 2007



1501 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I really like this.

Yyy
October 22nd 2007



289 Comments


this is way better than tnt tbh tnt tbh tnt tbh

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
June 17th 2008



4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I can't express how incredible this album is. "Glass Museum" makes me a little giddy inside every time I hear it.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
September 10th 2008



4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cons: No vocals

I can't believe you actually said this

mezzasun
December 10th 2008



16 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

slint was pretty much gone by the time this album came out Kage... just to point out



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