Sunday, February 28, 2010

Silvertrain - When You Cry

Hear The Track Here

Some time ago, John Brandon and I were having a long, drawn out conversation about the nature of recording; the costs, the time involved etc. I kept on (as I do) about the almost limitless range of computer music software in general, and Fruity Loops in particular. I understand, only too well, that kit is a very personal issue but when I weigh that against the time and MONEY I've spent in recordings studios, cheap kits is still kit. As it happens, since then Fruity has improved beyond all measure and is now the first thing I reach for when I want to get my music out of my head; even when part of that consists of live instruments. What I like most about these programs isn't the ability (once you've learned the program) to make music, but in its ability to apply major league production tools to that music. John has spent the intervening time learning that Fruity Loops is most definitely not a cereal.

Now read on...

'Bit of a mess' John apologises as he asks me to review this 'trying to combine the old Silvertrain sound with Fruity Loops'. I've heard some patchy stuff over the years from this excellent pop songwriter so quite why he felt he had to do a mea culpa upfront interested me. Jeez, was it really that bad?? Definitely at the beginning there things were a bit ropy but John's production capability has improved immensely since those early days so I know that the track well be a bit sparse instrumentally, but all the elements of the song would be there. That's what this guy does; the song and nothing but the song. It's a good job then, that the songs are of a very high quality even if the rendering of it is a tad (and a very small tad at that) lo-fi.

Although I don't consider John to be a standout vocalist, he is nonetheless a very recognisable vocalist; I would recognise him anywhere. As usual, he does a sterling job at getting the idea and the emotion of the track down, in the hopes that other collaborators will add to it. That's the reason this appears to be a John Brandon review because, so it seems, he really is the major mover behind the Silvertrain name. So, I've learned to judge these songs not so much for what they sound like now, but for what they will sound like when the others take a hand. On that score, When You Cry threatens to be a dramatic Silvertrain track musically, provided they can keep the feel John has going on here.

(Another) wIP, another day. Recommended poprock song.

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