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"Shut up and play yer guitar," OR, "Everything's funnier with pants!" - Elf M. Sternberg
elfs
elfs
"Shut up and play yer guitar," OR, "Everything's funnier with pants!"
My music of choice while working out is metal mostly because I don't have to think too much about it. I've been listing to the album The Fullness of Time by the band Redemption for a few weeks now on and off and I have to disagree with almost every other reviewer out there.

Most of the reviewers have this praised prog-metal band for its "restraint" with its instrumentals, bemoaning the tendency of prog-metal bands to get self-indulgent and show off their mad guitar skillz. Instead the reviewers have concentrated on the quality of the lyrics and the vocals. My take is just the opposite: As Frank Zappa once said, "Shut up and play yer guitar."

Not only is there a song about 9/11 on here ("Parker's Eyes") with such triteness as "Now I understand / why we say suffer the little children," but the centerpiece of the album, "Sapphire," is a fifteen minute barrage of cheesy lyrics the entire theme of which is "I can't believe my girlfriend left me." That's it. Even worse is that they can't rhyme competently. One of the refrains is "Tell me what I gotta do to get a second chance / tell me what I gotta do to get inside your heart."

I don't think "heart" was the original word at the end there. Everything's better with pants, and it would rhyme, too. The rest of the lyrics contain puerile wordplay around gemstones, the kind of stuff you find in a high-school girl's poetry journal, the one she won't let her friends read.

But I've listened to Redemption because the musicianship is first-rate. In both the opening song, "Threads," but most notably during "Sapphire," there are long segments (remember, it's fifteen minutes long, most of it purely instrumental) where the guitars, drums, and keyboard are just working together, beating out a relentlessly growing and magnificently lyrical wall of music that crescendos into this overwhelming but never out-of-control finale of great sound. This isn't an album where each performer gets up and shows you his skills all alone; this is where all the performers show you that one of the most important skills a band can have is how well they play together.

I just wish he had something more meaty to write about than "I can't believe my girlfriend left me."

Shut up and play yer guitar.

Tags: ,
Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: Redemption, Sapphire

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