I read their bio and frankly, it scared me. Glowpeople are a lot smarter than I am. Look friends, I will be the first to admit my musical shortcomings and then go ahead and write a review anyway. So things went wrong, things went right and now I’m sitting here in the studio listening to music that makes me drool like a caveman, yet appeals to my deeper intellectual desire for true progressive music.
Let’s part ways with the traditional progressive rock community and I will write about Glowpeople and their Tangerine Dreamiest in the 21st century meets Keith Jarrett with a trumpet brand of music. Need I dare even call it a brand? Unique and recorded uniquely – the drums are wayyyyy forward in the mix and that, along with the loops, keyboards, and space effects, gives Glowpeople a garage-band on windowpane style that is all their own. They own this genre, Garage Windowpane and thank the deities that there is a band creating this music for our wild enjoyment.
Have ever had the feeling that you’ve been here before? The third track opens with a ripping bass line, some talkie-talkie, and I’m soon wondering if this is the broken jazz they were alluding to in their bio? But the beat takes over and if this were a Supertramp concert, this would be the part in the song Rudy when the train leaves the station and travels across the country at 720 miles per hour. We are travelling quite fast and a crescendo leaves us exactly where we were before – 720 miles per hour.
Metaphorical is a whopping 9 minutes long and all I want is more speed, more landscapes flying by, more windowpane, more Glowpeople. Here is the perfect example to define “Progressive Music”!
Resound in H Flat is a shorter piece but just as daring, and I can’t stop my foot from tapping. A dance beat? OK then. I’m wondering how long that will last and I am rewarded with the answer at 1:20 into the song when the music breaks down after a drum fill that fell just a little late on the beat (probably on purpose, I’m thinking). After a water-filled bridge that made me feel like I had to pee, the happy dance beat returns and closes out the song.
Crepuscular begins in a disjointed fashion with bass lines, light drums to create that mood, and the weird sounds that shouldn’t fit but somehow manage to anyway. Damn it guys I want to hear that jazz guitar a little more forward, it is the STAR of the song- not the weird gravy loops you have your heart set upon. The song progresses forward, the guitar takes the lead position, with some fine counterpoint from the keyboards. But there is a doodling, ear candy feel to this song that leaves me slightly unsatisfied. I want more main course and fewer side dishes!
Withuwtout slips in on the morning tide and captures nicely some of the finest sounds Glowpeople has produced yet. The trumpet is the champion of this song, with a nice showing from the synths that cover the walls. About halfway through this 7 minute journey, a flute/synth solo turns this into a native-new-wave-melodrama until an upbeat bass and drum rhythm is established. This opens the door for the trumpet and wall to wall keys to return. The song ends, in full circle, with the familiar sound of the ocean.
The Saddest Flower in the Vase is the final song on the album. The rhythm hypnotizes, the keyboards mesmerize, the trumpet rolls, the bass glides, and the song slides forward like a magnetic train on the moon. I’m not thinking about a sad flower dying in a vase. This song is my absolute favorite. Glowpeople have blended this one quite nicely, the song is the champion here.
I recall our email exchange and I was told to wait for the CD in the mail before writing a review so I could get “the full experience” of Glowpeople. And this wasn’t a full experience? I simply cannot imagine a fuller experience than this album. What are you trying to do to me? You guys are completely crazy, you guys are musically superior. You guys are arrangement sadistic. You guys are genius wolves dressed like lambs. The name fits you. You are Glowpeople. Anything less from you would be a major disappointment. Anything more would be sacrilegious.