Viikon biisi (11/2018): Ryan Adams – Gimme Something Good (2014)

Ryan Adams on vuonna 1974 syntynyt yhdysvaltalaismuusikko, joka toimi vaihtoehtocountry-yhtyeessä nimeltä Whiskeytown ennen siirtymistään soolouralle vuonna 2000 Heartbreaker-levyn myötä. Tuo albumi syöksi hänet kuuluisuuteen ja uralle, josta ei käänteitä ole puuttunut. Vuosien varrella hän on ehtinyt julkaista tähän päivään mennessä 16 albumia ja lisäksi pienempiä julkaisuja melkoisen nivaskan. Onpa hän jo lopettanut keikkailunkin Mènierén taudin jälkiseurauksien vuoksi, mutta onnistunut sittemmin saamaan sairauden kuriin ja päässyt palaamaan lavoille. Gimme Something Good löytyy hänen omaa nimeään kantavalta ja vuonna 2014 julkaistulta levykokonaisuudelta.

Adamsin musiikista on sanottu, että ”se on kuin antaisi surumielelleen hemmottelupäivän”. Tämä laulu on siitä malliesimerkki. Haikeus puskee läpi sävelistä, sanoista, soitosta ja laulusta. Kun jostain saisi jotain hyvää, johon pystyisi tarrautumaan. Harvasanaiset rivit ja yksinkertainen, mutta sopivalla voimalla tulkittu melodia kulkevat rinnatusten. Soundimaailma on myös artistinsa kuuloinen ominaiskaiussaan rumpuosastolla ja muroutettuine ja tarvittaessa chorus-efektillä marinoituine kitaroineen. Jähmettyneempi A-osa avautuu liikkuvampaan B-osaan ja hieman irtonaisempaan, mukavan tuttuun sointumaisemaan.

Tekstissä liikutaan siis, kuten Adams parhaimmillaan tekee, kertojan mielessä. Tätä tehostaa lauluun lisätty kaiku, joka luo mielikuvan keskustelusta pään sisällä. Tyhjää on ja valonpilkahdusta odotetaan, vaikka sitten maailmanloppuun asti. Kertosäkeessä todettava ”holding everything I have like it was broken” kertoo sanojastaan enemmän kuin monta säkeistöä tekisi. Koskettavimman osion arvonimen saa kuitenkin toisen säkeistön jälkimmäinen puolisko. ”So I can’t talk / I got nothing left to say / It’s like there’s no tomorrow / barely yesterday”.

”Gimme Something Good” on muun Ryan Adams-tuotannon ohella vahvasti tunnelmamusiikkia. Joskus siihen ei jaksa uppoutua, mutta sopivassa hämäryydessä se hellii kuulijan sielua. Myös akustiset live-otannat tästä kappaleesta, jotka löytyvät Live at Carnegie Hall-levyltä, ovat kuunneltavaa materiaalia. Toinen niistä soi itse asiassa sävelaskelta alempaa kuin levyversio. Tuo albumi on soolona keikalla äänitetty, joten Adams säestää itseään yksin akustisella kitaralla.

Gimme Something Good

I can’t talk
My mind is so blank
So going for a walk
I’ve got nothing left to say

I can’t see
The darkness on the rise
I’ll be waiting here
Until the end of time

All my life
Been shaking
Wanting something
Holding everything I have like it was broken
Gimme something good

I was playing dead
Didn’t make a sound
Holding my breath
Going underground

So I can’t talk
I got nothing left to say
It’s like there’s no tomorrow
Barely yesterday

All my life
Been shaking
Wanting something
Holding everything I have like it was broken
Gimme something good

Oh no

All my life
Been shaking
Wanting something
Holding everybody back
Demanding ransom
Gimme something good

TOOMIO’s TOP100: 28. – Pepe Willberg – Pepe & Saimaa

Producer: Matti Mikkola
Recorded: 2014
Released: 9.5.2014
Label: Suomen Musiikki

#1 in Finnish Chart, Rock Album of the year in Finland

SINGLES
– Lyhyenä Hetkenä
– Tällä Kadulla

At the early 2014 I was following the status of the musicians. There begin to flash things like following: “Pepe will release something really cool stuff soon.” The man, whose gig was attended by about five people. I thought these musicians stuff was inside joke.

Hype got up little by little. In the end, it was so wild that I was forced to listen this album. The first song begins slowly. “Mmm … well yeah, no surprises …” the middle of the song Moog-psychedelia suddenly jumped on. I froze to listen open-mouthed.

Matti Mikkola, a former Tehosekoitin-man, has been a producer of this musical work! Mikkola is precisely the ruler of the sounds. The sounds have been considered incredibly tasteful. He can be called one of the best producers in Finland’s.

“These relics like Pepe need 20 years of forgetfulness to return once again to the top of the hipster mountain.”

Spotting Pepe to the singer is a precedent of hipster cheating. I don’t know whether Pepe claimed, therefore, that can show people what Mikkola could do despite the singer’s name. These relics like Pepe need 20 years of forgetfulness to return once again to the top of the hipster mountain. Pepe’s voice doesn’t come free easily, but at such a high torque. Of course he’s not a very young anymore.

Sounds and also compositions are truly memorable. Such chord progressions, which suddenly comes up with just capable artists like Rufus Wainwright and Elton John. The lyrics are fine. Hard to say how much Pepe himself has affected them, but they are touching. On the other hand, it would be nice to know if the ultimate aim was to make a album that will rise up the charts, or just the music, which is nice to do?

Music for the midsummer. Heat and sun and drought.

THE BEST MOMENTS
Lyhyenä Hetkenä – Lyrics and Love Boat-atmosphere.

NOT SO BRILLIANT
There is no weak moment. Maybe Aivan Sama Mutta Mä Oon Onnellinen is a little too different from the others.

Toomio’s year 2015

Year 2015. What was it musically? The year was big because Ausculto began. A monstrous amount of music is listened to. A lot of it has to shared and there has been some discussion too. Member A and Spinebrain are men in place. Without them Ausculto would be pretty much one-sided. Now there’s a side for the light, and there’s a side for the dark and me between them.

I listen to a lot of music. My friends also know it. Many asked for me the best albums of the year 2015. It is not easy to answer. Why? Because I listen to albums with retroactive effect. There’s so much good music, that all not able to take over instantly in their releasing year. I can quite certainly say what were the best albums of 2014, and even better the best albums of 2013. I can suspect, what are the best albums of 2015 on the basis of a few listening.

First, a small aggregation about the most listened to artists, albums and songs. These are not my opinion the best. These only what I’ve listened to the most.

ARTISTS

This year, David Bowie has become very familiar, thanks to the 1001-list. Almost all of these artists has place in Toomio’s TOP100-list, and if don’t already have one, then probably will be. The success in this list is also due to the fact that I listen them very often when I’m driving.

1. Gojira
2. Kamchatka
3. Anathema
4. TesseracT
5. David Bowie
6. Stam1na
7. Type O Negative
8. Leprous
9. Soilwork
10. Blind Guardian

ALBUMS

Kamchatka is my favourite music for driving. Groovy southern rock with a little prog-touch. Yann Tiersen I was listening much in last winter. Sara’s Kromi is a surprise. I thought that I have not listened to it so much.

1. Kamchatka — Bury Your Roots
2. Blind Guardian — Beyond the Red Mirror
3. TesseracT — One
4. Yann Tiersen — Infinity
5. Leprous — The Congregation
6. Gojira — The Way of All Flesh
7. Fallujah — The Flesh Prevails
8. Midlake — The Courage Of Others
9. Stam1na — Viimeinen Atlantis
10. Sara — Kromi

SONGS

Kamchatka reigns here too. There are many Bond-songs, to which me and Mr A come back to the springtime. Got That Feeling is the song I often prepare for running competitions within.

1. Kamchatka — Bury Your Roots
2. Matt Monro — From Russia With Love
3. TesseracT — Lament
4. Chris Cornell — You Know My Name
5. Shirley Bassey — Moonraker
6. Faith No More — Got That Feeling
7. The Smashing Pumpkins — Tonight,Tonight
8. Gojira — The Silver Cord
9. Gojira — The Axe
10. Yann Tiersen — A Midsummer Evening

The above will make it possible to go to the listings of this year. I make a list of the previous two years too. Just because I want to see how the ranks will change. Today they made good music too. Not all good have been made before then.

2013

1. Leprous – Coal
2. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
3. TesseracT – Altered State
4. Saor – Roots
5. Queens of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork
6. For The Imperium – Hail The Monsters
7. Sigur Rós – Kveikur
8. Omnium Gatherum – Beyond
9. The Dear Hunter – Migrant
10. Arcane Roots – Blood & Chemistry

2014

1. Pepe & Saimaa – Saimaa (Rank in the last January 1.)
2. Opeth – Pale Communion (2.)
3. Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails (*)
4. Cynic – Kindly Bent to Free Us (*)
5. Saor – Aura (*)
6. Yann Tiersen – Infinity (*)
7. Anathema – Distant Satellites (3.)
8. The Contortionist – Language (4.)
9. Autere – Amal’l (5.)
10. ††† – ††† (8.)

And then we go to the year 2015.

2015

It’s always going this way, that they are the best known are the first in this list. As you can see from the previous. Two Finnish album in this year.

1. Leprous – The Congreation
Great and stylish Norwegian prog / avant-garde metal. As the previous album, this was the year’s best. We will return to this.

2. Blind Guardian – Beyond The Red Mirror
Pompously there where it always has been. On the top. Good compositions, with aggressive power metal riffs.

3. Soilwork – The Ride Majestic
Long album, but not a single weak moment. If melodic death metal is your thing, take this album.

4. Deafheaven – New Bermuda
From the core of hipster metal came perfect boyfriends dressed in cashmere and wool shirts. They make that kind of black metal, which is acceptable and even desirable listen to.

5. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within
Gothic metal legends managed their comeback to harhs vocals just fine. There is everything you need to gloomy music.

6. Amorphis – Under The Red Cloud
This is something that I wouldn’t believe a year ago. I don’t like Joutsen’s vocals, but compositions are something old and traditional, strong Finnish metal.

7. Enslaved – In Times
This could be Norwegian counterpart to Amorphis. Not quite good as RIITIIR, but a good performance too. All history nerds, this is for you.

8. Saimaa – Matka Mielen Ytimeen
Weird sort of a cover album. All the songs aren’t very recognizable. But the joy of playing is so huge, that this deserves a place in the sun.

9. TesseracT – Polaris
Not quite as good than in the past. Djent music is also the mainstream nowadays, so Tesseract’s “good” is not quite enough for excellence anymore. Still, this is good.

10. Arcturus – Arcturian
The band is older than Mr A and is going stranger all the time. Although there are small breaks, it must be said that the musicians are adept at. ICS Vortex vocal sound brings good and recognizable stamp of the band’s post.

What can you expect in 2016?

There will be some interesting releases. Let’s try to predict the top10 of 2016. These artists should have something coming.

1. Gojira
2. David Bowie
3. Deftones
4. Pearl Jam
5. Red Hot Chili Peppers
6. Kanye West
7. Meshuggah
8. Metallica
9. Dream Theater
10. Elton John

Bruce Springsteen – TOP56-songs: 31 – American Skin (41 Shots)

From the album High Hopes (2014)

American Skin (41 Shots) got it’s studio version in 2014 but the song itself had been known via the live versions since the end of the 1990s. The album version is of course more smooth and groomed as one can imagine, but there is one extra element that was not featured in the live version: Tom Morello’s guitar.

This song is about the state of the society through one tragical event that happened in real life. On the 4th of February in 1999 a 22-year-old Amadou Diallo, who had a Guinean background, was shot dead by four police officers. They fired 41 shots, from which 19 hit Diallo, outside his house in Bronx. Diallo was unarmed. The police said he matched the description of a searched serial rapist and when they asked him to stop and put his hands up he started to look for his wallet, which police thought was a gun.

Springsteen reacted quickly: the song was heard for the first time on the Reunion tour in June 2000. When Bruce and the band played it in Madison Square Garden, New York, the local police enforcement started to boycott the gigs. Since then American Skin (41 Shots) has been heard every now and then but always as one of the emotional highlights of the show. The song experienced a renaissance in 2012 when George Zimmerman shot an unarmed 17-year-old Travyon Martin in Florida.

American Skin starts with synthesizers eloped from Twin Peaks while the singers almost nightmarishly repeating the words “41 shots”. The phrase “bloody river” is at its simplicity a multi-tonal one: “bloody” is a word that can be taken literally as blood-stained or as a harder class expletive. The last three lines take the listener straight to the place of events, next to the victim, just before everything is lost. The B-section is about the situations uncertainty through the eyes of the police: what’s in the pocket? Although there might be nothing we might still pull the trigger. “You can get killed just for living / in your American skin”. And even though you’re not American it might still happen to you: it’s sadly possible these days.

41 shots….
and we’ll take that ride
‘cross this bloody river
to the other side
41 shots… cut through the night
You’re kneeling over his body in the vestibule
Praying for his life

Is it a gun, is it a knife
Is it a wallet, this is your life
It ain’t no secret
It ain’t no secret
No secret my friend
You can get killed just for living
In your American skin

The second verse brings us the worry of a bystander, a parent. Life is hard and you have to go with it even if you didn’t know how. There’s just hope that you don’t do anything irreversible. The whole verse is heart-rending.

41 shots
Lena gets her son ready for school
She says “on these streets, Charles
You’ve got to understand the rules
If an officer stops you
Promise you’ll always be polite,
that you’ll never ever run away
Promise Mama you’ll keep your hands in sight”

Is it a gun, is it a knife
Is it a wallet, this is your life
It ain’t no secret
It ain’t no secret
No secret my friend
You can get killed just for living
In your American skin

Tom Morello plays an apt solo in this one, in which he doesn’t let his technical know-how get past the drama arc. It was mentioned on some fan forum aptly that it’s quite surprising that Morello could bring something new to a song known for over a decade with his guitar solo!

The rest of the song recycles the previously heard parts but keeps on growing on the sly bigger like the feelings of the parties concerned. The live version seems to get the band members impassioned as well. American Skin is a great song that one has to listen to with good equipment so the nuances can be heard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGfV0gHETrA

Toomio’s TOP100: 59. Opeth – Pale Communion

Producer: Mikael Åkerfeldt
Recorded: 2014
Published: 25.8.2014
Label: Roadrunner

#1 in Finnish chart, UK #14, US #19.

SINGLES
– Cusp of Eternity

At first I didn’t like band’s harsh vocals. Once I got used to it, the band decides to change their style. After the Heritage I was sure that Opeth will do nothing for me anymore. I was wrong.

Pale communion is the primitive and dark prog rock of the 70’s. Sounds and the ambience are shaded and Mikael Åkerfeldt sings naturally. The biggest problem of Heritage is just vocals. This album has echoes of folk too. The vocal melodies have a clear relationship to Midlake. Still the band sounds themselves. Opeth chord progressions are very recognizable. When you hear a one riff, you can almost say that this is Opeth.

“If ever the sound is organic, so now.

Production has succeeded so well that you can see the band pressing Leslie pedals, turning Les Paul’s knobs and pounding the Ludwig kits. Perhaps they have a real tape echoes? If ever the sound is organic, so now. Steven Wilson introduced once the Mellotron to Opeth, and the band is unable to let go of it anymore. If I have to complain about something, then I miss Martin Lopez on drums. He has better groove.

Take a seat, wine glass in your hand, and this album. Even lava lamp doesn’t take the atmosphere to the fault direction.

THE BEST MOMENTS
Voice of Treason Fascinating composition.
GoblinName describes the atmosphere well.

NOT SO BRILLIANT
Elysian Woes Confused performance, even from Opeth.