Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Head And The Heart Let's Be Still Sub-Pop2013


A welcome respite from the tedium of mind numbing ear candy, The Head And The Heart are the future for pop music.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
I am a cultural snob. Pop music died for me a some time ago. Programmed beats, harmonic hooks, and nonsensical rap have all contributed to the cultural black hole that is the main stream music industry and solidifies the computer science terminology of garbage in, garbage out.  

Let's Be Still is the sophomore effort from The Head And The Heart and gives hope to the hopeless that mainstream music does not have to sound like it was drawn up in a corporate boardroom to have lush melodies, captivating hooks and inspired songwriting. What makes Let's Be Still succeed on multiple levels is a profound cohesion of lyrical consciousness. This somewhat conceptualized effort borders on the melancholy. While never morose, Let's Be Still draws strength from deceptively subtle harmonies that add multiple levels of texture turning the predictable into a more organic sound scape of uniformity. Compositions with a sense of urgency pulled off with an ebb and flow reminiscent of album rock from forty years ago but amped up for the next generation. The musicianship borders on flawless. "Another Story" and "These Days Are Numbered" along with "Gone" are but three highlights from a release that is so well conceived that finding weak links or something to grind on is taking hyper critical to a new level. This is acoustic music that lives and breathes with seamless harmonies and an organic pulse that comes straight from ... the head and the heart. Music that inspires and is inspiring.

There is a decidedly Bohemian vibe but not by intent, they lived it. This Seattle based ensemble happens to be the cultural by product of their own experience, connectivity to a song is not a problem. I stumbled into this release thanks to an early birthday present of a Starbucks gift card. I did very well. The critically acclaimed debut release was but a springboard for the sophomore effort that could easily be a dark horse for album of the year.




Tracks: Homecoming Heroes; Another Story; Springtime; Summertime; Josh McBride; Shake; Cruel; Let's Be Still; My Friends; 10,000 Weight In Gold; Fire/Fear; These Days Are Numbered; Gone.

Personnel: Kit Karlson: Piano & Organ; Eyvind Kang: Violin & Viola; Maria Scherer Wilson: Cello; Additional Vocals: Bryan Appleby, Devin Busch, Jeffrey O'Neil, Joe Ruppert, Kyle Zantos, Brad Duncan.
The Head And The Heart:
Josia Johnson: Guitar, Vocals; Jonathan Russell: Vocals; Kenny Hensley: Keyboards; Charity Rose Thielen: Vocals, Violin; Tyler Williams: Drums; Chris Zasch: Bass