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Music  >>  CDs  >>  Rock/Pop

Amazing

Picture You

Amazing Picture You
$12.99 New
$6.99 Pre-owned
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The Amazing Lives Up To Its Name on Picture You The Band’s Free Flowing, Cinematic Sound Balances Focused Song Structures with Unbridled Improvisation To Create A Heady Genre Smashing Exercise In Sonic Exploration The Amazing inhabits an aural landscape that’s all its own: a panoramic, constantly evolving spectacle marked by layers of intertwining guitars, richly textured keyboards and a rhythm section adept at skewed tempos and a tendency to veer off in unexpected directions. It would take a shelf full of thesauruses to describe the Swedish quintet’s music, but one word that keeps reoccurring is “psychedelic,” a characterization that Christoffer Gunrup, the band’s singer, songwriter and guitarist, dislikes. “I hate the word,” he says. “I have no relation to psychedelic music or prog rock. Reine (Fiske, one of the band’s three guitar players) likes that prog stuff, and he’s very good with sounds, so he would be the one to blame for that.” The mid-tempo music on Picture You has its own unique texture and timbre, but Gunrup, an ironic perfectionist who is always slightly dissatisfied with his work, would rather play music than talk about it. “I have no idea how to describe the songs [on any of my records]. I like and hate them all equally. If you theorize about the songs, it ruins the tension and passion. Just shut the fuck up and play, but play good.” That’s just what the band did. Gunrup showed the band the songs before they went into the studio, but everyone improvised freely to bring the songs to vibrant life. “They do what they feel, “Gunrup says. “If I were to tell them what to play, it would be a lot less interesting.” The album’s basic tracks were cut in three intense days of studio recording, then Gunrup and keyboard player Fredrik Swahn added overdubs and vocals. The music on Picture You is as compelling and enigmatic as expected. Atmospheric keyboards, twanging guitars, and Gunrup’s anguished crooning float through the slowly intertwining melodies of “Broken,” concluding in a hushed pastoral interlude of voice and chiming guitars. “Safe Island” floats on a sea of reverb drenched feedback, while meandering clouds of hypnotic lead guitar ebb and flow through a vast sonic space, finally colliding with an avalanche of distortion, highlighted by clusters of playful interstellar keyboard. “British guitar stuff,” Grunrup says dryly. “Ride, My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and Mary Chain - not that this song is as good as theirs, but it evolved it that direction.” Stuttering James Brown-like guitar accents and a laid back funk beat drive “Fryshusfunk.” It’s a long meandering piece that moves from funk to jazzy prog rock, with classical organ inflections and the hiss of cymbal splashes, to a dramatic metal-like climax where everything falls into a whirlpool of distorted bass, guitar and organ. “The Headless Boy” drops a bit of folky Nick Drake-like melancholy into the mix. Autumnal keyboards, whispering slide guitar and lovely acoustic strumming compliment Gunrup’s aching vocal harmonies. “We’ve evolved our ability to play together,” Gunrup says, “but I don’t see that as a good thing. I think it’s important to not know what’s going on, to always be surprised. That’s why we can’t repeat ourselves, we need to change a bit, need to improve a bit – constantly - otherwise we will be bored to death.”
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