Menu | Rating System | Guest Book | Archived Reviews:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

  A Slow Messe  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:

The most difficult reviews to write are the ones for music that doesn’t move you at all. The music you love inspires you to gush and rave. The music you hate requires you to spit and rant. But the music that just sits there all “blah” in the corner of your mind, the music that blurs along in the background while you're tweaking spreadsheets at work, but never pushes itself into your forebrain, is the most dreadfully difficult to write about. Rather than opening up and letting the words flow in rivers of metaphor, you’re stuck in hard-pack desert with a pick and the hopes of well water somewhere below. A Slow Messe is that kind of music for me.

The band consists of members of Godspeed You Black Emperor! and singer/songwriter Scott Chernoff. The textures of the music are a sort of Godspeed Lite: orchestrated strings and subtly layered percussions blended together into a bleak but tempered aural pallete. Chernoff’s vocals recall those of Will Oldham's Palace. Both the music and the vocals are executed well, with art and flair, but it all fails to grab me. It doesn’t do anything for me. I have found it to be a pretty good soundtrack for dinner parties though. Throw it in with a few random classical compilations and maybe an Orb long-player and you’ve got great background noise for hours and hours.

That’s the thing about this record: it stays in the subliminal areas of the brain, chugging along pleasantly and artistically enough, but it just doesn’t pop at you. It doesn’t step front and center and demand your attention. It doesn’t require listening. There’s not that threat that you’ll miss something important if you blink.

A lot of people have reviewed this album highly. There are a lot of positive adjectives floating around the web glorifying this disc. I’m not going to call those people liars. Maybe there’s some door in my head that will open up and “get it” in a couple of months. Maybe. But for now, I’m just not finding anything there to inspire. Granted, it’s good in a way. If I couldn’t stand the thing, I could probably write for days and days about how it sucks. As it is, the silence of mediocrity may be a blessing. No words are better than bad words, I guess. So until something snaps and I see the beauty underneath, I’m giving A Slow Messe 3 sponges and moving on.

Related Links:

none available


Return to the top of this page. | Return to the Album Review menu.