Sunday, October 25, 2009

Music Decade List #23: BrightBlack - Ala.cali.tucky (2004)

Before Brightblack Morning Light became the group they are thought of now, they tossed out Ala.cali.tucky in 2004 to not nearly the recognition their last two albums have gotten. It's seem odd to me because the sound of Ala.cali.tucky is much more preferable to me than the more electro-funk/soul type sound they have now, which is still pretty good. This is still slow. languid, hazy music but there is more of a roots music base for the music here, with pedal steel, slide guitar and hammond organ in place of the Fender Rhodes and saxes that have graced Brightblack's other albums. It's a record that comes from the same place as their debut or Motion to Rejoin but by using different instruments and influences, it creates a record that has a more "Southern" feel to it, whether that's correct or not. Nathan Shineywater and Rachael Hughes's harmonies are sublime, especially on tracks like 'True Bright Blossom' or 'Old Letters'. The languid pedal steel on 'Own Time Woodland Song' fits BrightBlack's slowpoke pace so much it's astounding to me the group didn't stay on this course. Every song is steeped in the same pace but it's that dedication to not speeding up the music, to let the songs linger, that is the most appealing aspect of the album. It feels as if the album could double as a soundtrack for a film like Paris, Texas or Old Joy. Listening to Ala.cali.tucky, I get the picture of a cinematic western America, the deserts, vistas, and canyons that exists but certainly not in the context of the cinema of people like Malick or Wenders. I haven't encountered much music that I feel has the right timbre to recall a certain place or idea. Perhaps that is why this album made this list.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love this one. I dig their current sound as well, but the vibe here is kinda special.