Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Guided By Voices - Bee Thousand

You know how freakin' hard it is to find albums that you enjoy in entirety? Pretty damn hard, at least for someone with as fastidious taste as mine (I was about to say refined taste, but then again I'm a big fan of Phil Collins). Well, I guess I'm in luck. I've finally found out about Guided By Voices through their somewhat acclaimed lo-fi recording, "Bee Thousand" (though this is not entirely true, I have heard GbV before, I had a copy of the song "Teenage FBI" from their 1999 album "Do the Collapse" lying around on my computer somewhere, and it didn't really do anything for me).

"Bee Thousand" is notable for being extremely lo-fi, the album being recorded on poor quality equipment with little editing, and presumably with very little takes and no layering of instruments. Many people presume lo-fi will result in terrible songs, but oh contraire; there are some absolute gems on this album, with my three favourites being "Tractor Rape Chain", "Echos Myron" and "I am a Scientist" (this one being the closest to a radio-friendly single as you'd get on this album).

With the longest song being slightly over three minutes and each song is suitably different; it's pretty difficult to get bored of listening to this record. I think it is the beautiful simplicity of both the music and the lyrics that make this album such a work of genius. The best songs are the songs where you can catch on to a melody as easy as catching a cold, and where the lyrics convey meaning without having to resort to meaningless melange of polysyllables that don't demonstrate a thing except that one's vocabulary has spun out of control.

I suggest you seriously consider look in to giving it a twirl on the ol’ cassette deck.

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