In my previous
review of Landing i have talked about the droning nature
of their music and their general psychedlicalness. (Is that
a word -- it should be!) Their music is wandering and sometimes
noodley. Some folks interpret this as "lack of focus", and while
that is true of Landing at times, in general they seem to do
pretty well with their music.
Seasons seems to be a bit more focused than the
other Landing releases i have. that is to say that rather then
simply having a few very long songs Seasons is
an album of 8 tracks, and they are honest to goodness songs
not extended psychedelic jams. The songs don't exactly follow
the verse-chorus-verse pattern, but they are less noodley and
recognizable as songs for the most part. I mention this not
because it matters to me one whit (i think both structured and
wandering tunage have their places), but instead because i know
that the semi-formless nature of Landing's previous releases
has been a bit of a turn-off for some folks.
Seasons is also Landing's attempt to describe,
through their impressionistic songcrafting, the progression
of the year. Lucky them. They live in Connecticut, a state that
actually has 4 seasons. I live in Atlanta, where we only have
2 seasons: Ungodly Hot and Rainy. Apparently in Connecticut
they have things like "Spring" and "Fall". I wonder what those
are like?. I kid, of course, but this album is, in a sense,
Landing's version of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.
It's not really concerto-like, so the comparison ends there.
Seasons consists of 8 tracks, and i think it breaks
down to 2 per season.
They start off with Fall Song, a lazy meandering tune.
It is calm and reflective, and does, if you think about the
title, bring to mind the calming colors and temperatures of
my favorite season. Encircled is an even slower song
with a long intro of guitar and voice. Eventually, the keyboard
joins in, synthesizing deep space sounds. It brings to my mind
cold evenings looking up at clear skies full of stars.
The cold theme continues through the next two tracks, First
Snow and Ruins of the Morning. First Snow
is a lovely tune featuring keyboardist Adrienne Snow's vocals
overtop a layering of chiming guitars. Her keyboards soar and
a tinkling of chimes does a good job of conveying the image
of snowfall. Ruins of the Morning is a very similar song,
with hushed vocals.
Spring kicks off with Clarke Street, which is another
very light tune that slowly builds. Can't Hide Forever
is a good little indie rock tune that even features drums (!).
The male voice sounds really good here, and this is one of their
most completely formed songs.
In A Car starts off with a guitar echo that reminds
me of Pink Floyd, and then drones on lightly and lazily. It
carries that sort of bored interestedness that i remember from
childhood road trips. And then things wrap up with Blue Sky
Away, another great indie song with a sunny little keyboard
melody and light drumming.
On one hand, it seems as if the song titles and their placement
in the seasonal cycle of the album might have influenced my
thoughts on these songs. But that's not how i listen. The CD
has resided in my CD carrier, and i had to go look up the song
titles right now. So i have listened to this numerous times
and made many notes without really being aware of the intention
of the band. Really. I promise. And this tells me that Landing
have been successful in crafting their song cycle about the
seasons. Kudos to them.
But really -- this is a lovely album. If you are a Landing
fan or if you enjoy drone rock in general, then this is a great
release to have. If you are not so much into that sort of thing,
well, i think that this is still a good album to get because
Landing do focus a bit more on songcrafting here, and because
they do it so well.
A lovely release.