26 July 2013

Music Day

So now that I told you all about the awesomeness of Crumbächer's Incandescent in a different post, thereby leaving nothing to add to any further posts, now they release the album on the Frontline Records website. Thanks guys... you couldn't do this a month ago when I had a good promotion post all ready to go...


So it's not on iTunes (not in Canada anyway, because apparently it's dangerous to give Canadians good music), but you can still download it from a legal place, so I'm going to tell you about it anyway.
(EDIT: It's now on iTunes Canada!)

The label's website doesn't appear to have an 'individual song' option, but really, six bucks for an LP is nothing to sneeze at. And it's a solid LP -- there's really only one track that one could take out of the album (lyrically). So I'm going to do a full album review on it, just because I can, and also because the site doesn't let you download individual tracks (at least it doesn't appear to) so it'd be kind of pointless to just focus on one song here.
(EDIT: The Frontline webstore is currently under construction, so this is currently not available on their site. Refer to the iTunes link if you want to buy it.)

Before I start, a couple of things you should know -- this is eighties. This is keyboard heavy. And it's not exactly deep, theologically. Don't expect John Piper. Don't expect big intense guitar solos.

Song titles link to YouTube videos.

Understudy -- I love the interlude in this one -- the high-pitched keyboard line. I like the echo on the vocal in this one. In fact, I like how Stephen Crumbächer's voice isn't real spectacular (unlike a certain White Heart vocalist...), but it's still so endearing. I don't know how he pulls it off.

Infrared X-Ray Eyes -- This is probably the most pop-fluffy song on the album, lyrically (not to mention a little creepy-sounding to modern ears), but it's got a good funky sound to it and Dawn's backing vocal in the choruses are nice.

Glowing In The Dark -- This is the song I got the album for. I'd heard it on classicchristian247.com and loved it, mostly for the drum hits at the beginning of the verses and the syncopated keyboard riff after said drum hits. And the keyboard motif employed throughout. Only after the album was mine did I pick up on the huge words this song employs (when was the last time you heard the word phosphorescence in a song?). Being a writer/English nerd, that alone scored this song a few points.

So Strange -- My sister's favourite. This song kicks up into full throttle right out of the gate, with that rapid-fire drum/cymbal intro. The more-prominent electric guitar beefs up the song too. I particularly like the key change and higher vocal dynamics in the pre-choruses (And oh; What is this I'm feeling down inside...). The little kind of 'rock-out' after the false ending is cool too, if a little odd.

It Don't Matter -- A nice perky opening leads into some nice fuzzy guitar chords and then an intriguing staccato vocal -- it's almost a rap, it's fast enough (actually I've heard rappers slower than this). I really like that vocal interplay that starts at the end of the second chorus -- Stephen and Dawn layering the line never fall away. The harmony through the choruses is nice too.

Jamie -- I've talked about the music video for this one before, but I didn't really mention the song. This one starts out relatively slowly (in relation to the rest of the album), but never fear -- after a few dramatic-key-chord seconds to build things up a little, the drumsticks go 'one two three four' and the song kicks up into its groove. It doesn't sound as finessed as some of the other tracks, but its drive makes up for it. That and the keyboard motif... *swoons* Having watched the music video makes the lyrics so much more poignant. Probably the deepest and most beautiful lyrics on the album.

Sweet By & By -- I love this mostly because it bucks the trend so intensely. I mean, the lyrics are straight out a church hymnal (literally -- I looked in an actual hymnal). Any Baptist worth their salt knows the harmonies and parts of this song so they can sing it at funerals (yes, I know the ladies' part and have since I was a child). The hymnal version is quite nice and I do like it, but it's just so cool to watch this eighties keyboard band take it and absolutely turn it on its head. The rhythm, the melody, the mood -- all of that is completely different from what you hear in the churches. All that remains of the actual hymn are the lyrics. I like what they did with this though. He sings almost an alto-type part as the lead vocal. The 'flat' vocal and the shimmering key chords give the verses almost a haunting sound. It seems an odd style choice, actually, since the lyrics are supposed to be rather hope-filled.

Track You Down -- Possibly my favourite from this album. So. Catchy. It's fast, driving, and technically excellent. I really like Dawn's vocals on this one -- gives the song a completely different, 'lighter' dimension. The song would be flat and forgettable without those backing vocals. I also find it funny thinking about how creepy this song sounds to people today who have never heard it before. This song would never have been conceived in today's age of Facebook, Internet privacy concerns, texting/sexting, and the constant fear of being stalked. Since I tend to keep a more level head about these things than most (mostly because I tend to avoid being an idiot on the Internet), I get to enjoy this song without being all creeped out.

Album title: Incandescent
Artist: Crumbächer
Year: 1985
Label: Originally released on Broken Records, re-release on Frontline.
iTunes here.

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