Tuesday, June 21, 2011

CD Review: The Loud Family - Plants And Birds And Rocks And Things

The sun will shine longer today than at any other time of the year, which is why I have a tradition of using June 21st for Pam Appreciation Day. It’s a time to reflect on how loving and supportive my wife Pam has been throughout the years of our courtship and marriage. Thanks, Pam. Happy Pam Appreciation Day! Visitors to this blog may want to establish an Appreciation Day for their own significant others. And now on to today’s post, which I originally wrote for the Illinois Entertainer back in 1993.

The debut release from The Loud Family marks the welcome return of singer-songwriter Scott Miller. His eccentric pop sensibilities made his last band Game Theory a favorite among critics, if not a household name. Miller still has the same fascination with sound bites and musical fragments that got a little out of hand on Game Theory’s double disc Lolita Nation. Fortunately, he’s also retained his ability to create energetic pop arrangements, so all the songs that emerge from the clutter are gems.

Plants And Birds And Rocks And Things balances punchier rock songs like “Rosy Overdrive” and “Jimmy Still Comes Around” with the lighter-than-air confections “Even You” and “Aerodeliria.” Miller even wraps a beautiful melody around “Slit My Wrists,” which makes the song’s suicidal resignation all the more haunting. “Spot The Setup” offers some of his angriest lyrics to date. Such songs are usually not the road to commercial success, but it’s likely Miller doesn’t really want to bring his unique vision to the Top 40 anyway.

Note: Scott Miller has a critically acclaimed book out now, titled, Music: What Happened? For info, check out the Loud Family website, using the link above.

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