Thursday, August 04, 2011

John Craig & The Weekend...conceptually

Concept records are tricky business. If the story is too obtuse or hard to follow the listener won't stick around for the whole thing to unfold. If the songs lack a pop hook to them, it makes them hard to digest. However, if the story is interesting and the band uses the music to help propel the idea, then they can be quite entertaining. While not a true concept record (at least that's what I got from the record promoters liner notes), their does appear to be a song cycle embedded in the debut record by JOHN CRAIG and THE WEEKEND.

Craig has a falsetto voice that is not unlike Geddy Lee of RUSH. But musically, the band takes on a chameleon approach to each song. The opening pop salvo "Newstories" is rooted in a slight Prog rock vibe. "We Are Whatever" hangs its hat on a big fat bass line like some jazz club bar brawl. "Don't Think Make Mistakes Part One and Two" are the centerpiece of the record with part one relying a tinkling piano and Craig morphing into an 80's pop crooner. "Part Two" dips it's toes into electro-clash drumbeats to match the intensity of the darkening mood of the record. Later in the record Craig duets with Nicole Berke on the beautiful "Sink or Swim". "Numbers", the title track, has a DAVID BOWIE like spacey feel to it and closes the set with a swirl of keyboards and soulful "oohing" and "aahing".

I can't really say if there is a lyrical thread to the entire record, but the journey through various styles and song structures in conceptually very interesting. Surely a record that I will listen to further.

(mp3) John Craig and the Weekend -- Don't Think Make Mistakes Part Two

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