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June 30, 2009


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I think it's interesting, this complaint you have about "sameyness". I had no reply to your contention on this point about Panda Bear last year, since it simply isn't something that ever concerns me. And it seems a little selective. After all, isn't Spiderland--one of my all-time favorite albums, and obviously yours--samey? I routinely get lost on that album, forgetting which song I'm listening to.

It is selective, sure. Merriweather Post Pavilion is pretty samey too, yet I can't stop listening to it. I might call it "cohesive" when it works and "samey" when it doesn't. It's completely subjective and inconsistent, I admit, and perhaps worth a more extended post in order for me to get at what I really think. The shortest possible answer, I guess, is what I said above - if I'm listening to a song that is awesome in ways X, Y, and Z, yet the full album is also awesome in the exact same ways, with no variation, then the sum starts to feel less than the parts. "Bros" is an amazing song, but I can't say I ever crave hearing much else on Person Pitch because the rest of it sounds, to me, like variations on the same thing. The tracks don't enhance the whole, they just repeat the parts.

I don't think Spiderland could be described that way. "Don, Aman" is its own animal; "For Dinner" serves a specific purpose in the context of the record; "Washer" is unique compared to the rest if for no other reason that it contains singing. The other three songs could be said to follow a certain kind of template, though I think they're still pretty distinct from each other. Of course, at this point I'm so focused on that record that the differences between each song glare in my eyes.

I love Echo & the Bunnymen; half of it is my pleasure at Ian McCulloch's deep vocals, my favorite male vocalist of his time.

So I am a fan. But. Listen to the second album, "Heaven Up Here". Every track is good, and the whole thing hangs together, dark and brooding.

Also, Echo & the Bunnymen, in the 80s where everything sounds tinny, manage to sound muscular.

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