April 24, 2021 at 15:25 #38834ElvinParticipant
@punj Great Geb quote. I totally agree – First half is fantastic, second truly feels like a "bonus" disc. Also: The reason there`s no need to discuss fillers on TM, Blizzard etc is because there aren't any and as @Shatki pointed out: they already did the weeding out them selves :MPD:April 24, 2021 at 16:22 #38835Punj LizardParticipant
@Elvin – I love that chapter by Geb. One of my favourites in the book. He's so straightforward and doesn't pull punches. Personally I like BH/BC a lot – both discs. As for TM etc., I was, of course, just having a laugh, but also I guess trying to point out that some people might actually find the later albums fine but the earlier ones overdone – in some respects it's just a matter of personal taste.April 24, 2021 at 19:48 #38836JEROParticipant
I wouldn't change anything neither. Every album is like a person from the same family, and I love them all, warts and all (well maybe It's A Love Cult and Phanerothyme are the cousins locked away in the cellar) and what happened to me a lot of times is that they played a song from my personal 'warts-section' live and finaly (re-)animated it so that I had to get back to play it from the album and finally got to love it (for example Uberwagner(or Triggerman). So hey, what do you know, following MP resembles time-travelling in the Tardis, a lot, (says Who, hehe)April 25, 2021 at 12:28 #38837suntripperParticipant
I think you make a lot of good points, Shakti. I wouldn't want to tinker with the past too much, although I've often considered making my own compilation of concise hard rock Kenneth-era tracks comprising all of Child of the Future plus The Promise and the best bits of Motorpnakotic Fragments and The Light Fantastic. What a hard-hitting double that would be!
However, I do think recent material would have been better served by having N.O.X. as a stand-alone album, perhaps with the addition of something in a similar vein – or maybe those heavy parts from Begynnelser that inexplicably didn't make it onto the audio version.
@ Kid A: I was sort of with you until you wanted to leave out The All Is One side D. I think that's good stuff – maybe suffering from following on from N.O.X. The reverssion from something so radical and original to something belonging more to the classic rock genre might work live, but it diminshes what follows on disc, which is a shame. In a different context, Dreams of Fancy might garner rave reviews. Personally, I think it is a brilliantly constructed composition. If there's a bit of late Led Zep to it, I would say it could grace any of their later albums. Like Chrome is pretty fair too (also a touch of Led Zep there).
@JERO: "the cousins tucked away in the basement" – that tickled me!April 25, 2021 at 13:00 #38838
What I'm trying to say is that I think it's perfectly fine for the listener to enjoy reconstructing the work on their own.
But to say, "This album should have been composed of only this suite. â€œ etcâ€¦
I was very uncomfortable to read that kind of talk.
If it's an "ideal live set list", I'd like to see a lot of opinions from everyone.
We listeners are the ones who are given the artist's work, and I'd like to see a little more thought put into why the work was created the way it was. Even in the thread of the latest work, I was fed up with the excessive criticism of the old listeners.
I'm not a native speaker of English, so I'm writing this through a translator, but I hope it conveys the nuances I want to say.
I'm not saying don't criticize, I'm just suggesting that the residents of the official forum can appreciate the work a little more modestly and respectfully without being arrogant.April 25, 2021 at 13:39 #38839
I agree with you, Aki. I love all of MP albums in their entirety (even the "pop-era" ones, especially "Phanerothyme"). If I have to be completely honest, the only thing I would change is NOX's position on "The All Is One" tracklist, but that's just a detail.April 25, 2021 at 19:06 #38840shaktiParticipant
I think I understand what youâ€™re trying to say Aki, and you make a fair point. There is (presumably) a very conscious decision by the artist to present the work in the manner it is released. And as a listener, we have to make an effort to try to understand that, I have done that very thing with TAIO. Iâ€™ve asked myself many times why they chose to present N.O.X. the way they did, sandwiched between much more conservative material.
But nevertheless I think itâ€™s a valid criticism to point out when I think the artistic choices are working against the material, which is essentially what I am driving at here. I think some of the recent tracks would work better in a different context, and thatâ€™s a bit of a shame IMHO.
As I pointed out, there are albums I wouldnâ€™t touch, even if they are not among my favourite ones. The vast majority of their albums are like that, itâ€™s only really the last two and the 2013-14 era I think would have been better served by a different presentation. Well, I guess Itâ€™s a Love Cult only has enough good material for a single album, but that would have been a great album, perhaps Iâ€™ll compile that next.
For the record, I am appreciating KOO a little more than I did at first, but I still donâ€™t think it flows nicely as an album. The Thomas era has been fantastic so far, so these are really minor quibbles in the grand picture. The amount of great material the last 3-4 years is staggering.April 25, 2021 at 19:18 #38841GBDParticipantQuote:But nevertheless I think itâ€™s a valid criticism to point out when I think the artistic choices are working against the material, which is essentially what I am driving at here
Like you pointed out, that's your opinion. I find the placing of NOX to fit perfectly with the rest of the material. With the material preceding the suite creating a growingly darker mood, then NOX in all its twisted glory, a little light and we're back to the lighter side of things. Guess it goes to show that a band can never please everyone. And so one should trust that their sequencing was what made the most sense to them, and leave it like that ðŸ˜€April 25, 2021 at 21:53 #38842shaktiParticipant
I revisited the IALC material today (album and Serpentine EP). First thing that struck me was how nice it sounded (from a sound quality point of view). I always quite like IALC even though it was hated by many when it was released. I thought it was generally much better than Phanerothyme, but there were some puzzling choices.
The vinyl release has very short album sides, and that is part of the reason why it doesnâ€™t flow well, but even on the CD it really struggles to build up any steam or reach any cohesion IMHO. Then there are some real stinkers. What If… and Composite Head just stick out like very, very sore thumbs. Neverland was never one I liked much either, but in my reimagined album it stays to add some spice. So hereâ€™s how I would do it; axe Circles (nice track, but feels unfinished and kills the album almost right from the beginning), Composite Head and replace What If with Little Ricky Massenburg as the Geb track. Then resequnce like this for a single album:
Little Ricky Massenburg
The Mirror and the Lie
Custerâ€™s Last Stand
SerpentineApril 25, 2021 at 22:53 #38843April 29, 2021 at 22:46 #38844grindoveParticipant
I feel spoiled being a Motorpsycho fan. I think their creativity is amazing and the release pace now is perfect! According to me, there has always been less good songs on their albums – sometimes one, other times a few. I could easily remove tracks from "Demon box", "Tim's monster", "Trust us", "LLM", "HMF", "HBM", "The tower", "TAIO" etc, to make them more solid and even better than they already are – for me. But nothing points in the direction that the band (or the majority of you psychonauts) would choose to ditch the same material as I, so I'd rather have them as they are – with (for me) a few fillers – and see this flow of massive albums continue, than to wish that MP restricted themselves to shorter and fewer releases.
Sure, if I ever start using Spotify for real, I'm sure I'll rearrange quite a few MP albums for myself, but I don't have a smartphone, and at home I spin the vinyls.
Some of you sound as if putting "NOX" in the middle of "TAIO" was something that just happened without much thought. I'm pretty sure of the opposite – that they really wanted it to feel inconvenient, unpredictable, nontraditional and maybe even slightly weird. It works fine for me (even if I every other time start with side 4, followed by 1, and finish with "NOX").
I give up on most bands/artists after they disappoint me with an album, but when it comes to MP I know that it's still worth checking out next release, because maybe they've steered onto a different course, which keeps it exciting in itself, OR it might sound similar but with songs that simply appeal more to me, which definitely is good enough! A new MP album is always one of the highlights of the year here!
And what do I want next album to be like? Heavy? Prog? Pop? Metal? Psychedelic? Stoner? Hard? Soft? Long epics? Short to-the-points? I don't care! As long as the songs appeal to me, I really don't care which style it happens to be. Just "doing the genre" is absolutely no guarantee it will be good. Oh, hey, I always hope for NO COVERS on their albums. I hope for the same every time I see them live. I want 100% Motorpsycho!
OK, sudden end to this harangue:
Still my all time favorite band, and "KoO" really is awesome!April 30, 2021 at 05:37 #38845boomer former helmParticipant
@grindove: I couldn't say it better for myself. Now some songs on KoO start growing to me that did not really do it in the beginning. And I went back listening to TAiO yesterday and discovered how great it is to let an album lay for a while and then return with a changed view and personality. Then its a very new and different journey. I am still so excited about that band.April 30, 2021 at 11:25 #38846otherdemonParticipant
Too many albums? Sounds like a luxury problem to me.
Sure, I don't like every single note they've ever put out. But those
occasional flaws just makes the masterpieces hit harder.
I wouldn't change a thing.May 6, 2021 at 16:04 #38847supernautParticipant
As Punj said, if we want to go there then these "issues" apply just as well to their classic 90s albums. But no one ever thought so, back then and nowadays. I guess thinking this way about their more recent albums now comes from overdosing on too much music piling up.
Might those who edit the albums for cohesiveness miss the point? Regarding music critcism I often stumble over the term "cohesive" as a positive quality. Something I don't get. What's good about cohesiveness? It's a construct instinctively associated with "good" without second guessing. The "all killer no filler" idea doesn't apply to art imo. All the little breathers found on Demon Box, TDDU, The Tower and KoO make the big songs truly stand out. That's their role and function. I guess that's how MP compile their albums on purpose. It's a tapestry, a caleidoscope. Listen without fear and most of all: patience.
When I put music on my phone to take out onto the beaches, I do edit some albums by some bands. But not one single Motorpsycho record, although I did rearrange the sequencing on a few. Behind the Sun is a great record but has an odd sequencing to my liking, especially the first four tracks.
Back to cohesiveness. For example on The Tower we'd have:
Ship of Fools
or Demon Box:
Both still great albums this way. But the magic's gone.
For TM, there's the single CD version and the unreleased original album in the 4CD box. Anyone prefers one of those to the proper release as we know it?
I only have ONE EXCEPTION! Here Be Monsters should be:
Big Black Dog
IMS (btw one of my all time fave songs!!!)
Here be Monsters pt 1 & 2
The other tracks I left out because I don't consider them necessary and/or welcome atmospheric fillers. I just don't like them that much. 8O
Anyways, I think these thoughts are absolutely legit and fun – don't get me wrong there – but they come from a conservative point of view how albums should be. And that's what MP don't give a crap about and therefore are what and who they are. Maybe that's even why they're not on a big biz major label.May 6, 2021 at 18:00 #38848cloudhawkerParticipant
As Punj and supernaut says.
Very good points about lack of cohesiveness, variation and flow on albums. Sungravy as a stand alone track may not be in the top three category, but it is exactly what you need there and then: To go straight from the The Wheel to Grindstone on TM would be too much. And you absolutely need the calm and acoustic Delusion and A Little Light to cleanse you palate and take a deep breath before NOX and to come down and catch your breath again (or to get a little light) after. Generally I find their album sequencing and variation spot on.
Another interesting point is the one of saturation. Some people seem to struggle to appreciate Kingdom of Oblivion as it sounds too familiar to the GullvÃ¥g trilogy, it came too soon and so on. The lack of appreciation of latter-day MP seem for some to be reinforced by the fact that the typical MP songs these days are not short traditional songs but parts stitched together or a stream of indistinguishable riffing, jamming and progging. Underdeveloped, aimless and pointless, and lacks the urgency and directness of the youthful 90â€™s work some ppl lamented somewhere on these forums. (Not me, it doesnâ€™t ring true with me at all.)
But anyways, it got me thinking a little bit. I am wondering if the â€œaimless, pointless and lack of urgencyâ€ is a consequence of the song writing process. A little while ago I listened to Torgny Amdamâ€™s podcast â€˜Lage musikkâ€™ (â€˜Make musicâ€™) with Bent. It is only in Norwegian so I am not sure to what extent whatâ€™s said here have been repeated to non-Norwegians. Here Bent talks about the song writing process of the last 5-10 years. It goes something like this: Typically Bent will sit down in front of the telly with an electric guitar or keys and record on his phone until the voice memory (and his head) is full of sketches, chords, riffs and ideas, text lines maybe. This will obviously have no premeditated idea of direction or style, nor any self-censoring. He will then go on to work out demos on Pro Tools, developing the material and piecing parts together. According to Bent, putting the different parts together is an intuitive process, he â€˜knowsâ€™ when the song is right and when thereâ€™s a record there. Every now and then Bent is stuck and may involve Snah to get additional input to get unstuck, add new pieces, glue pieces together. He refers to making music as research or exploration.
Bent specifically says that the method now is different from the writing process in the 90â€™s which was much more classical song writing. Bent also states that he is bored of what he refers to as the Beatles school of song writing (short, conventional, â€œperfectâ€ pop songs) and feels that there is not more to get from that for him personally or in music generally. Been there, done to death, moved on.
And what else can you do other than to respect that?
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