Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Reviews:: David Myles Turn Time Off

Over the last few months, the strain of writing daily reviews has been wearing on me. It's no secret we try to write something worth reading each and every day, but the schedule means we are forced to try to judge good bands by their greatest moments. It's not really fair to the listener or the band. For any music fan, a song is more than three-minutes; a song is a moment in your life you want to hold onto forever.

Right around the same time, I was reading a blog post by musician turned entrepreneur Derek Sivers (trying to apply his dancing guy / first follower principle to social learning in an 35,000 organization) and realized his philosophy of hell yeah! or no makes a lot of sense from a music blog perspective. In a nutshell, if Sivers isn't excited about something, he's saying no. He believes that there is too much to get done and too many great things out there to spend time on things that don't matter.

Obviously, with music the immediacy of a song is undeniable so his thoughts make sense, but what about things that take time to grow? Well, this is actually the thing that hell yeah! or no really helps us with. By saying no to some bands we are only okay about, we have more time to let records blossom. Gone is the the pressure of daily posts and, more importantly, we start to enjoy listening to records and triggering memories each time we hear a song.

When we started herohill, it was to give unsigned bands we loved the chance to get heard by even just our friends. Over the years, our audience has grown but the idea hasn't. The thing is, trying to review 5 records a week and always have fresh content means that bad records turn good and good records turn great. Great records? Well, because you have to move on before the record stops spinning, they don't get the chance to become life-altering and even the best songs no longer become something you hold onto. That's the biggest crime of it all.

So what does this mean? Probably a few less posts from me on herohill over the next few months, but hopefully more quality for your ears. Singles might get a few less lines of thought; almost a musical tweet of sorts, and records that seep into my soul like Turn Time Off - the new long player from Fredericton's David Myles - will be given the time and attention they deserve.

On his fourth record, Myles has found the recipe that works best for him. With some excellent production from Polaris short-lister Joel Plaskett, Myles has delivered a rock solid collection of warm, soulful pop songs that warm you with each and every listen. Myles has always been a whip smart song writer; as accessible and his is enjoyable and over the last few years he's been leaning more on his electric and full band compositions, but Turn Time Off shows him standing front and center with a well earned confidence, trusting a collection of musicians moving perfectly in time behind him.

From the opening moments of the melancholic Out of Love, Myles owns each and every song. He fuses the tracks with emotion without losing the listener. His thoughts could be yours, and as the warm melodies make you sway in time you get lost in the record. Gentle picks and touching harmonies fit perfectly beside experimental sounds (he drifts into a reggae feel on Run Away and even adds some spacey fuzz and dub to the quizzically titled Peace of Mind), subtle textures and even some Chuck Berry inspired electric chug. It's easy to hear this record and say that Myles has written his strongest hooks to date, but also challenged himself with bolder sounds and bigger goals.

It's very fitting Myles decorate his record with a simple picture of him wearing a sharp suit and tie. A cover like that could have been pulled from a stack of vinyl at a yard sale as easily as it could have been uncovered on iTunes or the Web, and it suits Turn Time Off to a tee. The songs and emotions stay with you for much longer than its 36-minute run time; in fact, like a well tailored suit, Turn Time Off will never go out of style. If that doesn't refresh your love of music, I don't know what will.

MP3:: David Myles - Gone For Long
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/davidmyles
WEB:: http://davidmyles.com

Labels: , David Myles, Fredericton, , ,

Posted at 7:34 AM by ack :: 3 comments

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At 11:07 AM, Blogger Derek Sivers did sayeth:

Thanks! Tiny update, though: my name is Derek Sivers, not David Sivers. :-)


At 1:19 PM, Blogger ack did sayeth:

I actually knew that, but I added the piece on your blog this morning after writing the review... must have had David (Myles) on the brain.


At 4:19 AM, Blogger Alex Hudson did sayeth:

Nice post. This is definitely a problem I've faced in the past. It's the reason I switched from a general reviews blog to an mp3 blog. Because if I'm only posting about one song I don't need to dwell on the stuff I don't like and I can single out the stuff I do.

And really, if you can't take the time to listen to those great albums over and over and really fall in love, then what's the point?


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