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My album of the year (so far)


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I don't like the ALO album that much. It is growing on me, but I did not give that much of a glowing review.

Here's the review:

Animal Liberation Orchestra (ALO)

Fly Between Falls


While improvisational jam band fare is anything but generic, the music that has been permeating within its walls often succumbs to an internal plague of sameness, where all the bands who try to be different end up sounding exactly the same. That is my problem with San Francisco’s Animal Liberation Orchestra (ALO) and their major debut, Fly Between Falls. There is nothing particularly problematic at work here, except for a few songs plagued with immature lyrics (“Girl, I Wanna Lay You Down†and “Possibly Downâ€). The problem is that there is not one discernable moment where I can differentiate ALO from the usual improvisational-laced fare, including an appearance from fan, label-head and tour partner Jack Johnson. The musicianship is, as per usual, top-notch and the songs lovingly flirt with quirky folk, plaintive pop, Caribbean melodies and bluegrass; yet, the end result is an average at best effort that will resonate well with the Dave Matthews Band and Brushfire Records crowd. It seems the more bands like these emerge, the more they all sound the same over time. Blame it on the rest then.

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I do love that Loose Fur album, but still give the nod to the Flaming Lips.


I like the first Loose Fur a lot more, so far. (They are both new to me). The old one is a bit more out there, ya know? New Flaming Lips is good, I've got it on now. The 4th song, Pompeii somethin-or-other, sounds like Run Like Hell sorta.

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Derek Trucks - Songlines - Derek moving forward as always. Amazing disk....

Umphreys's McGee - Safety in Numbers - definately not where I thought UM would go on their next studio disk. More laid back, more acoustic guitars, not the usual amped up jazz rock fusion they excelled at on Anchor Drops. Good songs (aside from "Women Wine and Song" with special guest Huey Lewis on vocals and harmonica), with possibly UM's greatest emphasis on vocals yet. Strong vocal harmonies on a number of tunes make up for a lack of the fun, jumpy and moving dual lead guitar lines they're known for. Whereas in the past, UM developed songs with multiple parts, overlapping melodies and complex time and rhythmic structures, Safety in Numbers sounds more like safety in pop sensibilities. Shorter tunes, with more accessible structures leaves me wondering what exactly are they doing. Regressing? They seem to be moving more into radio friendly territory. Not that the result isn't good or up to their standard. I wanted more of Anchor Drops. But all in all, I like.

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