Wednesday, 14 November 2007
realtime review of 'dropping the writ' by cass mccombs -- score: 9.9
i have decided to review cass mccombs' new album 'dropping the writ'. i am reviewing it realtime, and should probably be asleep. i am not going to edit any of the sentences i just typed, unless i make an obvious mistake i can see. this will contribute to the review's 'realtimeness'. i am listening to 'lionkiller' now, which is the first song on the album. how does this song sound? it sounds kind of nervous. the first time i heard it i didn't like it much. i felt confused, because i was thinking of the other two cass mccombs albums. the other two albums are more melodic than this song. this song has a melody, but it is more repetative than things from the previous albums. cass mccombs sings the line 'stick a needle in my eye / i'm middle class 'til the day i die' on this song. it's over now, though. the second song is playing. i don't know what it's called. i will check. it's called 'pregnant pause'. just as i found out, he sang the words 'pregnant pause'. i like this one more (although with repeated listens i like 'lionkiller' too). this one is more 'immediate'. it is melodic. it sounds like things from other cass mccombs albums. he is speaking now, in the background. somehow it is not pretentious. i think that's what i like about him. he is just a person with a 'lot of things to say'. i guess if you have that much to say or lots of ideas or whatever it is that cass mccombs has that other people don't have, then it must be tough not to feel like you're 'showing off'. i am not sure if that last sentence made sense. it's playing 'that's that' now. this is -- i think -- my favourite song on the album. it is very melodic. it is 'catchy'. i have listened to this song more than all the others. this song makes me for some reason think of ice skating. some fifteen year olds going round an ice skating rink in solihull. tuesday afternoon. there are backing vocals on this song, that go 'doo wa, doo wa, doo wa'. they sound nice. and a guitar that goes, 'deee deee dee duh duh du-duh'. good work, cass mccombs. i just started thinking about whoever it was who read my blog a few hours ago, because they did a google blog search for 'cass mccombs' and how this will be (for about an hour) definitely the 'top hit' or however you say it. now it is playing 'morning shadows'. this one is both melodic and 'moody'. it sounds like someone crawling up a flight of stairs on their hands and knees. cass mccombs's voice is good. not just in this song, but in general. it sounds sincere, and confused, and not like any other voice, i don't think. a friend of mine said that on one song he sounds like he wants to be morrissey. i don't agree. it must be either kind of hard and something to 'work towards' or just occasionally natural to have your 'own voice' when you sing, and not to be an approximation of the things you have heard and like. i think cass mccombs sounds like he is just naturally singing in a unique way. have i forgot to mention one of the songs that was playing? okay, i got confused. the last song, the one i was writing about was called 'petrified forest'. this song is the one called 'morning shadows'. it is also 'moody', but in a different way. it sounds like someone rubbing someone else's back, softly, for a long time until they go to sleep. it's just finished. now it is 'deseret'. this one is 'eager-sounding'. this one is shuffling along a hallway towards you, whenever you are not looking. when you turn your head to look at it, it freezes. i wonder how many of these songs were 'conceived in the studio' by cass mccombs, and how many were ones he wrote on an acoustic guitar in his room or whatever. i wonder if i emailed him with some questions about making this album, and other things, whether he would answer them. i would like to know what kind of a person cass mccombs is. he sounds like he might be a 'bit of a weirdo' from listening to this album. when i type that, i just mean 'someone who thinks about things too much' i guess, which is only 'weird' to the percentage of people that don't really think about things and just 'get on' with stuff and then find things like awkwardness and lack of coordination as things worth picking fault with. i don't know what i'm saying. i guess i am saying cass mccombs was probably bullied in school, but maybe it is what has 'shaped' him into the fine singer/songwriter he is today. not that i am advocating 'character-building' school-bullying or any kind of bullying, either. i am wondering if this was a stupid idea. i am feeling a bit tired now, but for some reason can't stop typing either. there's a new song playing: 'crick in my neck'. i just thought about my neck. my neck is fine. my neck doesn't have a crick in it. my hand feels funny and 'pins-and-needles-y' though. this song sounds like someone pushing you round aggressively in a nightclub while you are high on maybe opium or glue or something. it's just finished. the next song is 'full moon or infinity'. this is the 'simon and garfunkel' one. it sounds like something intricate being stitched. i am worrying now that my descriptions will put people off. i guess i am somehow hoping that someone like me will read this, and somehow think that the cass mccombs album sounds like a good album to buy by reading this. i'm not even sure that it's actually out yet. i think it 'officially' comes out next month or something -- i got a promo copy from the vinyl exchange place off deansgate in manchester (maybe there's another one. i only paid 3 or 4 pounds. you should have a look ...). i saw cass mccombs play once, in the 'social' which is a bar in nottingham, about four or five years ago. at that point i didn't really like him. i think i stood at the back and kind of half-listened and half talked to my friend. 'what a fool you were' i think now. now it's playing 'windfall', which, if a 'big film' was going to use one of the songs from this album, this would be the one they'd use. it would a be a scene where a boy and a girl have broken up or something and are remembering each other. somehow the song manages to conjure feelings of melancholy without being sentimental. i think it would be a lot harder to avoid that kind of sentimentality if there were accompanying visuals of attractive people crying on their own and then running towards each other and kissing in slow-motion or something. i'm a bit drunk. it's four-something in the morning. this song sounds like something from 'titanic' if 'titanic' was a good film, and wasn't so manipulative. his voice is good. he sounds like he is not trying but very naturally producing pleasing sounds from his larynx. he sounds like he has a 'velvet larynx'. now it's playing the last song which is called 'wheel of fortune/healing' according to windows media player. i just rested my head on my hand. i think i want to sing exactly like cass mccombs and start a band and 'play him at his own game'. why can't i just enjoy something, without looking at it like a competition? he writes good lyrics. i feel envious when i hear good lyrics, done well. i think i need to somehow calm down a bit. i probably just need to go to bed. it's 4:41am. the album is almost finished. this song sounds like a film with clint eastwood in it, but clint eastwood is very small and walking away and there is a bright white light which is almost eclipsing everything. the bright white light fades and there is just a spot-lighted piano. cass mccombs is singing, sincerely. he is not lying to you. cass mccombs doesn't want to be your friend, particularly, and feels uncomfortable being scrutinised, but also has 'something to say' and so is happy for you to be listening to his album. the album is finished now. i'm going to bed.