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So, finally got around to listening to All in Good Time today while riding with Jerry on the way to Windsor. I just finished listening to it again for a second time while writing this up, so here we go with the blah blah blah.

I hate to be that guy, but after listening to the album.... I miss Steve. This surprises me a lot because after he left the band, I thought, "I like all the other guys' writing, this will be weird but okay" and really the only place I was expecting to miss Steve was on vocals...which, as it turns out, I think is covered just fine by everyone else. It's the other things that I'm missing him on. There's a big counterbalance missing from the album there on the pop/songwritery-rock/funk axis. And Ed's lyrics really could use some help in places (especially given his apparent tendency to go "fuck it, WE'LL JUST MAKE IT A ROCKER NOW").

I don't think the album hangs together all that well as an album. It's really awkwardly paced. I know the album is dead or whatever, but at least make it flow decently.

Overall, I think the album's okay. Decent in places, not so decent in others. It's still definitely BNL in my mind, but it's also pretty clear to me that they're still trying to figure out what exactly that means now. It's also pretty clear that it was important to them to make sure that everyone knows they're still around -- and even more than "no, we didn't break up, actually", they're trying to expand the fanbase (there's more commercial-friendly stuff on this album than there was probably in all of BLAM/Men -- note: BLAM is one of my favorite albums, but then I'm already a BNL fan to the point of where I had purchased and listened to it well before it was actually released... it obviously didn't really bring in many new fans though as is obvious from bn.net and other online haunts).

Song-by-song:
You Run Away: I don't really like this as either the leadoff or the single, although I like the song well enough (and it seems to be doing okay as the single, so hey, what do I know).

Summertime: I can't decide if I like this one or not. It feels kind of lazy lyrically, but I dig the music (even if it feels a bit cheesy at places).

Another Heartbreak: This is probably my least favorite of the Kevin tracks for this album. The NOW LET'S ROCK OUT bits really don't seem to fit. The song would be kind of cute and circular if it was mostly piano. As it is, it's just weird in a bad way. (Note from listening to the acoustic version: Yeah, this is really the way the song should be on the album. It's a lot easier to like it this way.)

Four Seconds: This is so bizarre and awesome.

On the Lookout: This is by far the most accessible of any of the Jim songs on any BNL albums. Very Mraz-ish.

Ordinary: I do really like this one. But then I am a sucker for country leanings.

I Have Learned: This song does absolutely nothing for me, and I think it's pretty lazy lyrically. Just bleh.

Every Subway Car: What the hell is the first verse about here? It does absolutely nothing for the song. I like the rest of it okay -- it's kind of awkward in places ("spraypaint on my glove"? really?? ouch.) but otherwise it's pretty decent.

Jerome: Okay, I fucking love this song and everyone who doesn't like it can take a fucking hike. It's evocative as all hell.

How Long: This also has some really lazy lyrics. (I can't decide if "for reals" is awesome or horrible. Horrisome?) It's at least relatively fun which makes up for some of the dislike I feel for the lyrics. But not all of it.

Golden Boy: I like this song a lot, though we'll see how I feel about it when I think about the lyrics some more. Oddly enough, this is the one song on the album I pointed out to Jerry that I could see Steve singing. ;)

I Saw It: This is okay, I guess...?

The Love We're In: I like parts of this, but it *feels* weird (and also the lyrics are weird -- I love a couple of lines, but there's also some lazy parts). This really feels like it should be the album-ender.

Watching the Northern Lights: I like the way this was put together instrumentally -- it'd be unexciting otherwise (and it's still not super exciting), but it's pretty good.

Let There Be Light: I really like this song a lot. Not much else to say, just warm fuzzies.

She Turned Away: I like this one (well, sort of, you know... it sounds like a rather personal story), though I can see why it didn't make it on the album, as it's much more of a Bros Creegg type thing.

All In Good Time: I like this one too. The France line makes me smile*. More warm fuzzies? I wonder if this and Let There Be Light split votes from each other since they're kind of along similar lines. This song feels like it should be over the credits to a movie.

Moonstone: I quite like this one as well, though I'm going to have to take a look at the lyrics while giving it another listen through.

*Asterisk because: you would assume, given all the harping on Ed's forcing rhymes I've done earlier in this entry, that this line would make me cringe, but it doesn't at all. I don't know -- to my ears, Kevin manages to make these sorts of things sound a lot more natural (or at least cute rather than precious) in his songs (see: the onion rings in Adrift).

Date: 2010-04-05 01:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starr234.livejournal.com
You said most of what I was thinking but was too lazy to write down. I wanted to love it, but I just didn't. To me, it sounds like there are a couple of different bands on this CD. My guess is that they're still trying to figure out what their cohesive musical sound is, but (like you said) didn't want people to forget about them or think they'd broken up.

I really dislike Summertime because of the cheese factor. I don't like Another Heartbreak (and when have I ever disliked one of Kevin's songs?) or the way Kevin's vocals fit into the overall song. I know he can wail if he wants to, so I don't know why there's a mismatch between sweet vocals and a harder song. I wanted Watching the Northern Lights to go farther in terms of the sonic sounds. I liked it fine, but I think I would have loved it if they'd pushed the envelope as far as they did on When You Dream or their live version of Light Up My Room.

All that said, I think a lot of what I dislike about the album can be traced back to it feeling rushed and the production style. So I'm hoping the songs will end up being awesome live.

Date: 2010-04-05 03:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] letters-to-ed.livejournal.com
I haven't even listened yet.

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