Philip Selway
Familial


3.0
good

Review

by FlawedPerfection EMERITUS
August 31st, 2010 | 31 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Instead of acting as a coming out party, Familial solidifies Selway's role as the quiet, reserved perfectionist behind Radiohead.

There’s a reason that Philip Selway is often seen as the quiet, focused force behind Radiohead’s esteemed legacy. Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, both in Radiohead’s work and in their solo work, make immense, grandiose statements with every sweep of the compositional pen. If Familial should be Selway’s coming out party, placing him alongside Yorke and Greenwood in importance in the band, then Familial is indeed a failure. Instead, Familial only solidifies his quiet, purposeful role in Radiohead, as the album is as hushed as his presence in his day job.

The man behind so many of Radiohead’s memorable rhythms could have released a bombastic album fully demonstrating just how much power he wields behind a drumset, but instead, Selway completely surrenders the drum throne to Glenn Kotche of Wilco, spending his time weaving simple, effective vocal melodies through his quiet folk compositions. Indeed, the lineup on Familial should immediately give the impression of intimacy, with members from Wilco, Soul Coughing, and singer-songwriter Lisa Germano filling out Selway’s main roster. The instrumentation hardly expands beyond what these musicians offer, aside from the notable strings at the end of “Falling.”

What remains, then, is a standard folk album from an unexpected source. Opener “By Some Miracle” might be the most melodic affair on the album, and despite its tame nature, it shocks a listener unsure of what Selway might offer. The layered harmonies and memorable melodies all portray a different, unseen side of the drummer, one much less focused on rhythm and more focused on layers of melody. Perhaps most shocking is the quality of Selway’s singing voice. Selway himself was surprised to hear his voice played back to him on a recording, and his hushed tone could provide a wonderful foil to Thom Yorke’s angular croons (but probably not).

Throughout Familial, Selway’s compositions continue to impress in their surprising delicacy, but such a personal album will likely have little impact on an outside listener. While the album never gave the impression of wanting to be a commercial success, Familial plays its cards remarkably close to the chest, much like Selway’s work in Radiohead. Selway never asks for attention, but still receives it through his remarkable consistency and precision.



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user ratings (47)
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
letsgofishing (2.5)
...



Comments:Add a Comment 
FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
August 31st 2010


2807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Couldn't really get into a rhythm writing this.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
August 31st 2010


4000 Comments


I really like this review, paints it really well.

Digging: Chat Pile - God's Country

thebhoy
Emeritus
August 31st 2010


4460 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is a really boring album.

PuddlesPuddles
August 31st 2010


4798 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review



I feel like I already know what this sounds like, not too motivated to listen

Ire
August 31st 2010


41945 Comments


Boring album

Satellite
August 31st 2010


26537 Comments


Ehhh, I sorta like this. Can't really imagine giving it a ton of spins, though.

porch
August 31st 2010


8459 Comments


3.5 seems a bit high if you feel like that

nice review, still haven't heard this

Satellite
August 31st 2010


26537 Comments


It's a low 3.5.

IllPromiseYouThat
August 31st 2010


427 Comments


is the album cover making fun of tree man from indonesia.

natey
August 31st 2010


4190 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Instead of acting as a coming out party


is he gay?

UnfunFionn
August 31st 2010


54 Comments


The S. Carey album is better than this one, but it's not bad either.

Spare
September 1st 2010


5567 Comments


jonny greenwood is now the only member of radiohead allowed to make solo albums

Satellite
September 1st 2010


26537 Comments


Thom's solo album ruled.

Aids
September 1st 2010


24462 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Damn, I loved By Some Miracle; I thought this would be an easy 4.



Good review, short and to the point

Spare
September 1st 2010


5567 Comments


thom's solo album was okay

Tyrael
September 1st 2010


21108 Comments


Good review, I really think he can do better than this but it's still a very enjoyable listen

SleepyJack
September 2nd 2010


206 Comments


Jonny released a solo album???

couldwinarabbit
September 2nd 2010


6996 Comments


Thom's solo albums was amazing


I'm actually really digging this. I agree I can't see this getting a lot of spins but it is very...comforting maybe? Which is so completely opposite to everything that is Radiohead.


but this means the new album is coming out soon!!!!!!!

Satellite
September 2nd 2010


26537 Comments


Jonny released a solo album???

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands/Jonny-Greenwood/928/

Uranium
September 2nd 2010


7549 Comments


Boring.... maybe. stimulating... definitely.



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