Today’s post is the result of a request from a friendly chap called Juan (Hi, Juan!) who makes music and calls it Baby Scream. I wish he’d call it something other than Baby Scream. (How about “Juan And His Incredible Dancing String”? Or “Splinters Along The Rio Grande”? Or maybe “Well It’s A Juan For The Money…”?)
Anyway, the aforementioned Juan emailed me and asked if I wouldn’t mind puttin’ his music on the blog. I was happy to. (I’m always happy to.) However, when I went to have a listen to the songs I thought “Oh-oh – I don’t like these songs very much. How am I going to be diplomatic and say I don’t like them very much?”
Before I got to answer my own question, I’m pleased to say that the more I listened to the songs the more I liked them. Unfortunately, because I had listened to those first couple of songs and hadn’t warmed to them, I guess that’s what put me off in the first place. (As opposed to the second place.) But after the first couple, the other songs were more enjoyable for me, and then I went back to the first ones I (disapprovingly) heard and thought “Hey, they’re not that bad. Now that I know where he’s coming from, they’re alright.”
The thing that put me off to begin with was the tempo. Baby Scream’s music is generally slow and Beatle-y. You know the kind of sound – the tempo is taken at a leisurely pace, and has a slow simple drum beat. It sounds like late Beatles – even though The Beatles never actually sounded like that.
Interrupting Side-note: I think that what’s described as the Beatle-y sound is more likely a result of the recording of “Free As A Bird“, where Jeff Lynne‘s slavish production of the song in homage to how he felt about how The Beatles sounded to him has ended up being regarded as “The Beatles Sound”. I’d say – and in full knowledge that nobody is want me to tell them – that the sound nominally described as ‘Beatle-y’ could be more accurately called “Free-As-A-Bird”-y. (Or is that “Free-As-A-Birdy”?) So for me, what people think of as a Beatle-y sound is actually Jeff Lynne’s approximation of The Beatles rather than The Beatles themselves. As far as I’m concerned, the late Beatles never quite sounded the same song by song. In other words, no two late Beatles songs sound alike. I may be completely wrong (and probably am), but that’s what I reckon.
For me, the slight problem with Baby Scream’s songs when I started listening to them was that most of them were taken at that leisurely Beatle-y pace mentioned all those sentences ago. (Like Bleu’s third album, A Watched Pot, which annoyed me enormously because it felt like every single song was played at the same tempo: Ballad Tempo. Now, I’m OK with Ballad Tempo for one or two songs on an album, but when an entire album is at Ballad Tempo, my teeth start to grind as I’m listening.)
Now that I have that moan out of the way, I’ll continue listening to the songs I’ve warmed to. Thanks, Juan, for letting me know about them. And sorry about the pun in the first paragraph.