FROM: Brian Long
You guys have put together a really sting, dramatic, emotionally-involving record. The production is full and complimentary to the songs. I also really like the varying keys the songs are in; this helps with the record’s flow.
Anyway, after listening to the tape a bunch of times while watching pigeons swoop after dogs, on the loose from their master’s penthouses, this is what I’ve come up with as a good tracking order.
“God’s Green Earth” - a nice and positive way to kick off the record, Really cool, uplifting song.
“Skyscraper” - it’s always good to put one of the absolute best tracks in the first or second spot.
“Gone” - cool acoustic guitar intro which sets up the mood change from “Skyscraper” and then,..bam.!
“Here To Go” - emotionally compelling as Jeff goes for it. Great song! One idea I’d like for you guys to seriously consider is to shorten the “tagged on” ending from “Gone” by mixing up the intro from “Here To Go” as the end of “Gone” fades out. This will help tighten up the record and create a neat seamless section which will augment two songs which will prove to be one of the album's highlights.
"Memorial Day" - This song has a resolution/healing quality that works better after an emotionally-laden song than at the beginning of the album. It's also a bit too long to kick the album off with. Following the one-two punch of "Gone" & "Here To Go" this song would make more of an impact and help lead the listener through the record.
"Creep" • As this song begins cold with the voice why don't you lead into it with some ambient sound that butts right up to the beginning of the song. Again, this will help tight-up the album. I also believe this should be in the first half of the record as it will be a song some gatekeepers will be familiar with, i.e., radio, retail...
"John #1" - as I told John, this song has a real pleasant quality. It reminds me of chilling on a redwood patio and feeling quite content. I think Pete Townshend had a song about this state of mind with the line "...exquisitely bored in California" A great middle of the record type song.
(Side 2 of cassette)
"Star" - the acoustic lead-in lends itself well to beginning a side and it works equally well as song in the middle of the album.
"The Only Road" • Heavy duty dirge with awesome guitar sounds and grinding bottom end -- un-relenting and hypnotic.
"One Sunday" - Where the hell did you pull this song out of Jeff? I wish it wasn't so short as its a nice. Is that a girl singing backup on the "Just to get out" line? This works well behind "The Only Road" as it is a good contrast.
"Save" - Keeping that major key thing happening at this point in the album will help keep listeners. I love the guitars on this one.
"Sundown" - maybe some short ambience leading into this one as its mood is funereal yet beautiful... that beautiful aching thing.
"Endgame" - I've always thought this as the perfect last song and not just because of the title. The pan shifting and Jeff’s sexy and understated vocals are chilling. As the last song, it will leave the listener under the Idaho's spell - gorgeous song!
As you know, with all these songs it is a long album. Ideally, I'd like to trim two songs from it. One of the biggest criticisms American Music Club and Red House Painters received on their latest albums is that they are too long. Why give people something to dis; psychologically it's better to leave people wanting more. It's of primary importance to the U.K. to have two unreleased tracks or they won’t release a single as well it is wise to have tracks floating around for promotional CDs, CD magazines etc.
Anyway, you guys have done a great job and I’m sure your very proud of it.
I’ll talk with you next week.
CC: Kim & Erin