Weather Report
I Sing The Body Electric


3.5
great

Review

by Hernan M. Campbell STAFF
July 10th, 2012 | 20 replies


Release Date: 1972 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Weather Report embrace their Progressive rock influences to create one of their most experimental efforts.

I Sing The Body Electric is a very obscure collection of music. It almost completely ignores the ambient sound that was explored by its predecessor. The Weather Report's eponymous debut experimented with an atmospheric approach to Jazz music, expanding on the musical concepts found in albums like Miles Davis' In A Silent Way. But I Sing The Body Electric follows a very different objective, the music seems to have more in common with the experimental nature of Progressive rock than Jazz. This time drawing influence from albums like Pink Floyd's Ummagumma, as the compositions seem to question all rules of musical convention, while leaving us to roam through various musical landscapes.

The opening song, "The Unknown Soldier", completely diverts itself away from the traditional etiquettes of Jazz orchestration. It is a voyage through the abstract, expressing an enigmatic philosophy for us to decipher. Eric Gravatt establishes a rhythmic landscape with his drumming, and from there, the other instruments begin to erupt with sounds that tend to project contrasting moods- from inducing an ominous environment to expressing a more calming sensation. Even Eric Gravatt's drumming, who often provides a delicate percussive rhythm, also has his moments of intensive of solos. "The Unknown Soldier" is a very interesting piece because we have absolutely no idea where the musicians are taking us in this musical voyage. And before we even get the chance to fully grasp the concept behind this song, it fades into silence.

"The Moors", on the other hand, follows a more conventional approach. It opens with a solo performance on an acoustic guitar. The orchestral arrangement is very spastic, following its own pace while remaining loyal to the album's esoteric plot. But this guitar solo exists for a purpose, it's our passage into a mesmerizing jam. This is actually a very gentle performance, Wayne Shorter's saxophone asserts itself as the centerpiece and his deliveries convey a very soothing tone. "Crystal" and "Second Sunday In August" follow a similar musical style, as they return to the atmospheric textures explored in the previous album, while at times even transcending into psychedelia.

The final section of the album contains an assortment of live recordings from a performance in Japan, yet another connection to the compositional structure of Ummagumma. It opens with "Medley: Vertical Invader, T.H., Dr. Honorius Causa" and ends with "Directions", and right from the beginning, without any hesitation, the musicians deliver a set filled with relentless Jazz Fusion. I mean, this performance explores every aspect of the genre- releases of musical spontaneity, long instrumental voyages that transcend the boundaries of Progressive rock and Psychedelia, and of course, eruptions of dextrous solos from each musician. In the end, I Sing The Body Electric introduces itself as an album written by a band that is still trying to decide what kind of music it is that they want to produce. It's going to be a very interesting experience for the listener to discover how much this band has evolved since the release of their debut the previous year, as The Weather Report are still exploring musical possibilities and expanding their sound. This is a very experimental album and one that requires a commitment from the listener to understand its plot. My advice is to open all of your senses to the piece at hand. Try and experience all it has to offer, meditate on every sound, and the music itself will reveal its meaning.



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user ratings (28)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2012


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Part 2.

YoYoMancuso
July 9th 2012


11145 Comments


really well-written, i'm picking this up tomorrow. have a pos

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2012


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, and yeah it's a decent album if youre into Prog rock or Jazz Fusion.

scissorlocked
July 9th 2012


3511 Comments


nice writing man

seems like an interesting album. Never checked the band though

Digging: Traumprinz - All The Things

YoYoMancuso
July 9th 2012


11145 Comments


i remember there was an episode of the twilight zone called i sing the body electric. however unlike other twilight zone episodes it fucking sucked

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2012


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah I know which one you're talking about. I absolutely love the Twilight Zone, I'm a real nerd for that show.

YoYoMancuso
July 9th 2012


11145 Comments


nice man, i just saw one the other day, the one where they think there's an alien living on their street and they try to pick him or her out from all the people

YoYoMancuso
July 10th 2012


11145 Comments


it's called monsters of main street or something like that

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
July 10th 2012


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" is the name. It's good to see another Twilight Zone fan around here.

ZedO
July 10th 2012


1096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Weather Report chapter II, have pos Paper. Album is great..

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
July 10th 2012


10269 Comments


If any of you guys have played Fallout 3, then you'll also know how the plotline of the game really seems to reference that specific episode of Twilight Zone.

omnipanzer
July 10th 2012


21617 Comments


Good review, I listened to a few samples and it sounds like a cool album. It's almost like they were giving a nod to the doors with "The Unknown Soldier" and "Crystal" book-ending "The Moors". Probably not but just a thought.

Have a trippy POS sir.

Digging: We Were Promised Jetpacks - Unravelling

YoYoMancuso
July 10th 2012


11145 Comments


finally got around to listening and it was miles better than their debut

Cru
July 10th 2012


79 Comments


I've heard of Weather Report, but haven't had a chance to check any of their stuff out yet. I might have to give this one a listen. Great review btw. Pos'd.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
July 10th 2012


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@YoYo
Glad you're enjoying it, mate.

@Omaha
Yeah there are a few, that game is a lot of fun.

@Cru
Yeah, mate you should check it out if you have the time.

@Omni
You may actually be right, because I've read that a lot of the members of band were huge fans of The Doors... but then again, who isnt?

CaptainDooRight
July 11th 2012


29877 Comments


Excellent review bro. Pod as always. I have this and the first album you reviewed by them written down atm and still need to check it out, but based on your descriptions it sounds right up my ally.

Digging: Impetuous Ritual - Unholy Congregation of Hypocritical Ambivalence

breakingthefragile
July 11th 2012


2960 Comments


There's still so many progressive gems like this that I've yet to hear about, and this review makes me want to listen to more stuff like this. Awsome review as always dude, have a pos.

Lightsspon2
July 11th 2012


20 Comments


fags http://www.sputnikmusic.com/list.php?listid=103855

ExcentrifugalForz
September 3rd 2012


1756 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice to see this reviewed. It has been my favorite "jazz" record for a while. Props to the band for naming this in reference to one of PKD's more famous novels.

DeputyExorcist
March 17th 2013


69 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This and their first album, as well as Live in Tokyo are amazing classics. On par with, and continuing in the vein of Miles' late 60s work. Then they just began to gradually suck and get watered down, even with Jaco's eventual arrival.



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