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The Tear Garden, "Crystal Mass"

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Like a few releases recently, I had to take my time with this one for it to make sense to me. I had to figure out what made me like and dislike the album all at the same time. The reason that makes the most sense to me is this: the members of both the LPD and Download camps have become excellent writers while the execution of the recordings seem entirely too rushed and careless.


The lyrics and instrument playing have both become more developed than ever while the choices of tempo and instrumentation leaves much to be desired. It seems as if there wasn't enough thought involved. I hear the songs on 'Crystal Mass' and imagine some of them slowed down, sound effects added in, color added or various other things. For the most part this disc sounds rather bland while the writing is great. It's heartbreaking as it seems like you're watching a gifted young child surrounded by negative reinforcement. Even more disturbing than this is the lack of care in quality control. Can't figure out who's to blame on this - the band, the engineer, the master or the record company. 9 songs appear on 8 tracks, there's two songs sharing track 3, but lyrics of each song suggest something completely out of order from the printed track list. The only song that I can positively identify is track 1, which is strangely the only track title written in ALL CAPS (possibly suggesting it's not of the 8 tracks all listed below it). Confused???! My favorite song, "Lament" opens the disc in a stunning piece which echoes "I Am the Way, the Truth, the Light" (from LPD's Asylum) in an almost retro-80s pop style, continuing on, songs almost pierce the ears with bland adult contemporary pop-rock feel. One even summoning up old memories of "Sultans of Swing" from Dire Straits. Another gem on the album I thought was originally "Her Majesty's Trusted Food Taster" seems like it's actually "Castaway" as the lyrics make more sense being part of that 2-song track earlier on the disc. I'm all screwed up, somebody please correct this. Can we start again? Leave track 1 in though...


Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 July 2011 06:28  


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