I know that in the land of Americans, the 4th of July is designated Independence Day. As far as I can tell, it has been for quite a few years.
Well, I’d like to rename the 4th of July. I’d like to now call it The Red Button Day.
I want to call it that because not only is today’s song by The Red Button, but today’s Musical coincidence also involves The Red Button (actually, there are two coincidences involving The Red Button).
The splendidly wonderful Chrissy (Hi, Chrissy!) over yonder at Luck Media & Marketing mentioned that The Red Button has released a new album, As Far As Yesterday Goes. It follows their debut album from 2007, She’s About To Cross My Mind, which was very Sixties-influenced (as in “Hey, that sounds like Merseybeat!”).
I’ve listened to the new album As Far As Yesterday Goes a few times now (five), and I must say that I found it an exceptionally pleasant listen. But…
Unfortunately for the band, the next paragraph will consist of me
damning it with faint praise praising and criticising it in equal measure:
Overall, the album is very consistent. And the production is splendid, in that it sounds lovely (except for a quirk in one track that I’ll be mentioning a bit later). However, I found the album nowhere near as immediately likable as She’s About To Cross My Mind. (The tunes in that album leapt out at you and had you singing or humming along in no time.) Maybe it’s me, and maybe the new album is a much more subtle affair than the previous one, but I don’t hear any particularly strong tunes (melody is very important to me) in any of the songs. They’re all very nice, but nothing has quite stuck in my head (yet), even after five listens. It all drifts by in a stream of pleasantness. I haven’t quite warmed to the album in a way that makes me go “It’s much better than their earlier album”.
I hope I’m not giving you the impression that I didn’t like the album. I did. I liked it. I found it very nice. But I was hoping for something more than “very nice”. I was hoping for a “Yeah!” from at least a few of the tracks.
Because the songs are all as good (or as bad) as each other, I had a bit of trouble deciding which one to play you. I ended up choosing “She Grows Where She’s Planted” because it’s the jangliest:
The Red Button – “She Grows Where She’s Planted” (2011)
As I said, it’s very nice.
Oh, and here’s the production quirk I alluded to earlier:
One of the songs on the album, “Picture”, has an odd, odd sound at seemingly random points in the track:
The Red Button – “Picture” (2011)
To me, the sound is something like a knife being sharpened on a surface that makes a metallic squeak. (Maybe it’s a robot mouse.) I first heard it at 1:09. It’s not very loud, but it’s there. I don’t think it’s a musical sound, because it doesn’t appear at any specific points in the song’s rhythm, nor is it associated with any of the musical instruments I can hear in the mix that would be likely candidates for making that sound (i.e., the acoustic guitars and percussion). After the first noise at 1:09 (it’s the first one I noticed), there’s one at 1:14 and then another at 1:16 (that one’s quieter). It doesn’t reappear until later, at 2:10, 2:14, and 2:16. It takes a break, then comes back, but when it does it’s much more noticeable – 2:49, 2:53, 2:55, 3:08. It even happens in the fade-out at 3:13 (and maybe 3:15 – that one’s hard to tell because it sounds like it might be a triangle instead of the weird sound).
Anyway, enough of me yapping about weird sounds in pop songs. I’m sure you don’t want to read about me being nitpicky at my nitpickiest.
As for the rest of the album, you can hear for yourself whether you’ll like As Far As Yesterday Goes. The band have a media player on their website that’s streaming the whole album. You can go over there, free of my influence, and have a listen with your own ears:
By the way, I’ve recently had an avalanche of emails from new bands and people representing new bands (e.g., “Hi! I’m Guinevere Fondle from The Tremendous Record Company, and I’m looking after a band called Mangled Metaphor. I’ve been put in charge of that band’s World Domination Portfolio. The first stop on our list of people to contact is an Australian blogger called Peter who has three readers…”). As a result, I’ll try to blog about them all over the next few days. Otherwise, I’m going to forget them and end up receiving an avalanche of emails from irate new bands and people representing new bands (e.g., “Hi! This is Guinevere. It’s been 17 months since I last emailed you…”).
Also by the way, these bands are almost exclusively American. I think. (If I pay attention when I’m blogging about them, I’ll try to find out.)