Before I go on with this, I have one question. Are you reading this because you want to find a new little band to check out, or are you one of those buffoons who clicked on this thinking it was an album by grunge band Nirvana
that you havenít heard yet? One of those nincompoops who doesnít read the extra [UK] slapped on the end? If youíre the latter, please piss off, because you disgust me. [url=http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y78/Slunk90/instructions.jpg]Here are instructions[/url] to guide you back to the previous page. Another thing that disgusts me, to a lesser extent, is how forgotten the real
Nirvana is. Sure, this album isnít the greatest thing ever, but itís ignored in the history in the development of concept albums. Itís most probably the first concept album with a narrative, a true concept album, not a half-ass
ed story like Sgt. Pepperís Lonely Hearts Club Band
. Of course The Story of Simon Simopath
had a disadvantage to getting into all the books of the fat cats of Rolling Stone
as a concept album worth being remembered; the concept sucked. A story about a boy who wants to fly, and all the delightfully twee things he would do, with songs that trail off into nowhere. Still, Stg Pepperís
isnít all that, and people still toot its horn.
Nirvana commonly get labelled as a psychedelic or progressive band, but besides the San Francisco jam band cover art, Nirvana is pleasantly G-rated. The Story of Simon Simopath
is composed by the duo Patrick Campbell-Lyons and Alex Spyropoulos, to make a tame pop album. Tame, but not simple, as the duo makes pseudo-baroque compositions, highly decorative and polished. The albumís arrangements of epic toms, chamber band music seems understated, retaining the childish quality of the albumís concept. Think Neil Diamond, flourishing arrangements, but not topping the vocals. This proves to be a downfall, as the orchestrations, lead mostly by French horns, flutes, and lighter instruments of that nature, are much more interesting than the queerly cheerful vocals. Despite this, the melodies ably support themselves throughout whatever cheesy turns the vocals take, or if the music is overdone at times. If one is looking for upbeat melodies with Summer of Love harmonies similar to those of the early The Beatles
, Monkees, even Sonny & Cher, The Story of Simon Simopath
is worth checking out.
Despite the restraints that some people might put on a band for writing such vomit-inducing ballads as I Never Found a Love like This
, which sounds like something your grandmother would sing at a wedding after everyoneís wasted, Nirvana find the time on this 25 minute album to experiment. Foreshadowing their future ventures into soft-core psychedelia and prog rock, Nirvana sparsely use spacey guitars and occasionally odd uses of instruments that echo Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
. Though very short, the album uses every minute carefully not to repeat itself song from song. That canít be too hard to do though, with only 10 songs, and only one over three minutes. The moods range barely, having the emotional depth of a 21st century Disney movie, but Campbell-Lyons/Spyropoulos team keep the arrangements quaintly fresh.
The Story of Simon Simopath
is a good piece of work to check out for those who want to hear an album that isnít soulless bubblegum pop, but isnít exactly Pet Sounds
either. Though it contains its share of cheesiness, musically (momentarily) and lyrically (barely ever stops), it also has defining 60s pop songs like Wings of Love
or Satellite Jockey
. The only song, though, that leaves any lingering thoughts, is the mysterious closer 1999
. Driven by a honky-tonk piano and other absurdly jovial instruments, 1999 is clearly about celebration, but the lines ď1999 was a good year/I was born and then I died/So fill your glasses to the rim/And drink all the whiskey and the gin"
left me thinking how exactly this supposedly simple story ended. Was this just a slapped on song that had nothing to do with the story? Or did John Lennon come over and gave pointers on how to write pseudo-philosophical and pretentious lyrics? We will never really know, because all the smart folk are too busy analysing the other NirvanaĎs lyrics. Bastards.