Not quite an “Overdue Review” (but close), this has been in my listening heap quite a while. It is one of those I find difficult to review because my first impressions have dwindled over time and, given that as a rule I feel more immediately if I dislike something (I did not immediately fall in love with Parachute Mind‘s title track) and I – at least where the blog is concerned – subscribe to the philosophy of not saying anything if I have nothing nice to say, this means that there is something that has shifted in my opinion since that allows me to put some words about it here and, in spite of some qualms I cannot quite overcome, there is something I like about this album, so bear with me if it seems I am derailing a bit here.
We shall start with some words of introduction. everyBoy is the project of South California’s Bruce Nathan, with producer John Holbrook (who has produced most everybody important, it seems, from Pink Floyd through The Rolling Stones to Fountains of Wayne) and Jack Johnson’s drummer Adam Topal. Parachute Mind is their second album after last year’s The Last La-La’s.
In spite of the wealth of (very apparent) talent on this record, I cannot help but feel that either something is missing, or, more accurately, there is something stood in the way of the heart of the record. There are occasions when it seems the production has let its guard down, such as within TV News, and these are my favourite moments on the record. And whilst this is clearly a personal document, with an emotional cord running through it, especially noticeable within tracks such as Bully Me and Ego Solo, there is a near-clinical tightness that refuses to let this emanate at times; to lapse into clumsy metaphor one might compare it to an actress after one too many botox injections: the tears might be seen to run down the cheeks, and there may be power in the words, but the tautness prevents an altogether clear, uninterrupted demonstration of feeling. This is a pity, because overall this album is one that has more going for it that I like than that which I dislike in terms of both quality and quantity and it could be argued that some of that to which I have been exposed lately has given me a need for immediacy of intent that this record cannot quite provide. Time has opened me up more and more to this album and I expect it to grow on me with each listen, and certainly I have kept on coming back to it.
I shall stop with my words and provide a sample or two so as to help you decide for yourselves what my somewhat conflicted rambling means. I will start with title track Parachute Mind, but bear in mind that, as I stated above, this is not in my opinion one of the finer tracks on the album (the actual opening track To Arjun, also below, is to my mind a far better introduction). It was, however, the lead-off single and has a video to go with it (and I cannot deny that it has an awful habit of sticking in my head), so I will leave you with this and encourage you to look into it if afterwards you are even only slightly inclined.
All the links you might need to purchase the album in various formats are available via everyBoy’s official website.
EDIT: It transpires everyBoy has made a full album stream available, if you want to delve a little deeper and judge for yourself: