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Author Topic: The trainwreck that is The 50th ann. CD  (Read 3665 times)
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« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2020, 12:34:46 PM »

When this came out, a friend of ours said, "So, have you listened to The Beach Boys Through a Vocoder yet?" I thought she meant there was another silly Beach Boys video on YouTube with the same idea of "The Beach Boys shred 'I Get Around'" -- like, someone piped the Beach Boys through a vocoder or something...I didn't know she was talking about the Autotune festival that is this CD. After I listened, I totally understood.
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« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2020, 09:54:16 PM »

When this came out, a friend of ours said, "So, have you listened to The Beach Boys Through a Vocoder yet?" I thought she meant there was another silly Beach Boys video on YouTube with the same idea of "The Beach Boys shred 'I Get Around'" -- like, someone piped the Beach Boys through a vocoder or something...I didn't know she was talking about the Autotune festival that is this CD. After I listened, I totally understood.

I still contest that McCartney's Good Evening New York City sounds way worse than this. 

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTay8qCDybrNpgvmMFNDQ-jVQwEjl84WP

Not only does poor Sir Paul sound even more so like a robot, but the mix is garbage too.  The mix on the Beach Boys' 50th is at least clean. 
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« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2020, 10:08:11 AM »

When this came out, a friend of ours said, "So, have you listened to The Beach Boys Through a Vocoder yet?" I thought she meant there was another silly Beach Boys video on YouTube with the same idea of "The Beach Boys shred 'I Get Around'" -- like, someone piped the Beach Boys through a vocoder or something...I didn't know she was talking about the Autotune festival that is this CD. After I listened, I totally understood.

I still contest that McCartney's Good Evening New York City sounds way worse than this. 

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTay8qCDybrNpgvmMFNDQ-jVQwEjl84WP

Not only does poor Sir Paul sound even more so like a robot, but the mix is garbage too.  The mix on the Beach Boys' 50th is at least clean. 

I poked around in that, and didn't hear anything nearly as artificial as Brian sounds here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VweL5fgSUk0&list=PLAqTPSiRfVMiXcMh7eiphNlLrOiYs0HLG&index=24
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« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2020, 02:09:48 PM »

When this came out, a friend of ours said, "So, have you listened to The Beach Boys Through a Vocoder yet?" I thought she meant there was another silly Beach Boys video on YouTube with the same idea of "The Beach Boys shred 'I Get Around'" -- like, someone piped the Beach Boys through a vocoder or something...I didn't know she was talking about the Autotune festival that is this CD. After I listened, I totally understood.

I still contest that McCartney's Good Evening New York City sounds way worse than this. 

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTay8qCDybrNpgvmMFNDQ-jVQwEjl84WP

Not only does poor Sir Paul sound even more so like a robot, but the mix is garbage too.  The mix on the Beach Boys' 50th is at least clean. 
Never listened to that one. Paul has so many live albums out, I've lost count.
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« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2020, 09:14:29 PM »

When this came out, a friend of ours said, "So, have you listened to The Beach Boys Through a Vocoder yet?" I thought she meant there was another silly Beach Boys video on YouTube with the same idea of "The Beach Boys shred 'I Get Around'" -- like, someone piped the Beach Boys through a vocoder or something...I didn't know she was talking about the Autotune festival that is this CD. After I listened, I totally understood.

I still contest that McCartney's Good Evening New York City sounds way worse than this. 

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTay8qCDybrNpgvmMFNDQ-jVQwEjl84WP

Not only does poor Sir Paul sound even more so like a robot, but the mix is garbage too.  The mix on the Beach Boys' 50th is at least clean. 
Never listened to that one. Paul has so many live albums out, I've lost count.

I heard samples of that Paul live album after I had bought it but before I listened to it...so I started to regret buying it. Still havenít listened to it because of the Auto-Tune...guess Iíll listen soon.
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« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2020, 02:15:38 PM »

I don't recall any autotune on the McCartney "Good Evening..." album being as egregious as the autotune on Mike's vocal on "Don't Back Down" on the C50 live album.  But as I've said in previous posts, I think the C50 album is very *okay*; I've heard far worse.

McCartney live stuff is a separate ball of wax; he has different stuff going on. His voice is pretty much gone now. He sounded remarkably good when he first went back out in 2002; he probably sounded better at some 2002 dates than he did on those scratchy long runs of shows in 1990. But by the mid-2000s, McCartney's voice was toast live. They held his voice together longer in the studio, but now even his studio stuff is pretty challenged. He can still do lower register stuff okay; sometimes.

But I remember a few years ago when the "Blink of an Eye" McCartney soundtrack song came out; that was the final straw where I realized every iteration of his voice is pretty much toast.

I guess 2010 live McCartney doesn't sound as bad as 2019. But after trying live McCartney stuff from more recent years, I've mostly given up outside of when he does something really bizarre (e.g. "Temporary Secretary"). I'm happy to have seen a good run of shows in 2002, 2004, and 2005. That's enough for me.

As with the Beach Boys, McCartney's gold is in the archives. He doesn't have as much jaw-dropping A-list material as the BB's, but McCartney has so much volume (even after a myriad of epic multi-disc album reissues), there's still tons of stuff there.

I'd also say, regarding autotune, in the studio the people McCartney works with do seem to have more of a light, deft touch with the autotune compared to what Joe Thomas did with the BBs in 2012. Then again, I'd much rather listen to the BB's TWGMTR than McCartney's contemporaneous album, "New."
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« Reply #31 on: May 20, 2020, 03:59:56 AM »

Somewhat related but these clips have just been loaded on YouTube allegedly from the Sirius show 19 April 2012 where Melinda had put auto tune on the mics according to Mike.

Good Vibrations

https://youtu.be/LPmjd_abMxE

Car Medley

https://youtu.be/aVEcZu0o1l4

I listened fairly closely and I truly can't detect any autotune here. Mike has a voice where autotune is fairly noticeable(see his solo work...) and none of that seems to be apparent here. That being said, this might be the best performance of the 'Car Medley' I've heard.

Brian on second verse. Unmistakeable, I think.
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« Reply #32 on: May 20, 2020, 11:52:03 AM »

The mix is super clean, I only have some songs on my playlist from this album, but I really don't understand the hate.

Personally, I think that Then I Kissed Her, Marcella, Disney Girls, Add Some Music and Help Me Rhonda sounds amazing on this album

BUT - they should've released the live in Japan gig as a cd. That performance is more energetic than the performances from the actual release.
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« Reply #33 on: May 21, 2020, 02:58:22 PM »

Somewhat related but these clips have just been loaded on YouTube allegedly from the Sirius show 19 April 2012 where Melinda had put auto tune on the mics according to Mike.

Good Vibrations

https://youtu.be/LPmjd_abMxE

Car Medley

https://youtu.be/aVEcZu0o1l4

Whatever that complete story actually is, I don't think we got the full story from Mike's book. As we discussed back then, Mike described some sort of physical device attached to the mics, but the general understanding seems to be that autotune is generally done with outboard gear, and/or back at the soundboard or some sort of off-stage interface.

I haven't read this part of Mike's book lately, but the sense I got was that whatever Mike had a beef with, he had it removed before they did any performances.

The sense I have is that they probably did try to put autotune on everyone, Mike balked (we'll just ignore the COPIOUS autotune found on every one of his albums and pre-recorded TV appearances of the last several years at least), and it appears that once the actual tour started, only Brian's mic had some sort of autotune going out live to the PA. Fans noticed this, and it was gone from live shows (to any hugely discernable degree) within a few days or a week or so.

Subsequently, autotune was slathered on to some of the live album; that was presumably all done in post-production.

Mike's apparent position on autotune falls very much in line with how he seems to operate. He doesn't like stuff sometimes when it's someone else's idea or decision. But if it's his idea and/or his decision, then it's okay. Hence all three of his recent albums being drowned by the most overzealous use of autotune we've ever seen on any BB-related product.

Back to the Sirius show; it was fine. I do think everybody was sounding even better a few weeks into the tour. When I saw the band in June during the tour, they were smoking pretty much across the board.
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« Reply #34 on: May 21, 2020, 05:12:20 PM »

Glad I did not buy this yet. But also happy to have seen five Beach Boys onstage - together.
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« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2020, 08:59:10 AM »

Assuming this Amazon reviewer is the real deal, (Nelson Bragg) itís embarrassing from someone who was on stage for the tour.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R3OXJCLQWE0OOG?ref=pf_vv_at_pdctrvw_srp

Sounds like Nelson!
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« Reply #36 on: May 25, 2020, 06:34:54 AM »



McCartney live stuff is a separate ball of wax; he has different stuff going on. His voice is pretty much gone now. He sounded remarkably good when he first went back out in 2002; he probably sounded better at some 2002 dates than he did on those scratchy long runs of shows in 1990. But by the mid-2000s, McCartney's voice was toast live. They held his voice together longer in the studio, but now even his studio stuff is pretty challenged. He can still do lower register stuff okay; sometimes.


Agreed.  Up until the last few years I think McCartney's voice has really gone downhill unfortunately.  Although I will say I have a superb-sounding boot from a show he did in Japan in 2013 and even though he was in his early 70's he still sounded great on most songs. 


As with the Beach Boys, McCartney's gold is in the archives. He doesn't have as much jaw-dropping A-list material as the BB's, but McCartney has so much volume (even after a myriad of epic multi-disc album reissues), there's still tons of stuff there.

Oh I dunno about that; I mean he was in The Beatles for crying out loud.  It doesn't get much more A-List than that.


I'd also say, regarding autotune, in the studio the people McCartney works with do seem to have more of a light, deft touch with the autotune compared to what Joe Thomas did with the BBs in 2012. Then again, I'd much rather listen to the BB's TWGMTR than McCartney's contemporaneous album, "New."

New was hit-or-miss with me and I agree I enjoyed the Beach Boys' reunion album more consistently.  I will say I really grew to like his follow-up album Egypt Station though.  "I Don't Know" is a surprisingly personal song for McCartney that would be right at home if it had been written by Brian.  "Come On To Me" is a fun rocker that grows on you.  "Dominos" is a really solid album cut and "Back In Brazil" is a cool, albeit eccentric lounge/house track.  And "Do It Now" has some Beach Boy-style harmonies.  The only real misfire I found on there is his politically-charged "Despite Repeated Warnings".  It's a clunky and overly pretentious song even if you agree with the message.
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« Reply #37 on: May 27, 2020, 06:19:26 AM »

The "reunion" was (IMO) a failed opportunity.  It came as no surprise that it was crap, but still I had hopes they could be their ages and make real music as the old men they now are.  Instead we get the "Let's autotune and over produce this thing so we can capture 1965 again!"   Yay, only nope.  It's fake and sickening.  I love the BB's for what I love about them.  BW is one of the greatest musical entities of the 20th century - unfortunately saddled with the stupid marketing/image yoke that has continually suppressed and limited his scope.  He has done wondrous music, for which I am grateful, but allowed to simply be a creator without all the baggage, he might have done so much more.    Just look at what Dylan has been able to do in his elderly years - love him or not, he's been true to himself and done as he wished with no compunction to be the Bob of 1965.   
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« Reply #38 on: May 28, 2020, 08:26:19 AM »

VERY well said. They'll always be my favorite band but the Beach Boys (including Brian) do not seem interested in doing anything original these days to highlight just how innovative and revolutionary they used to be.
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« Reply #39 on: May 28, 2020, 11:48:12 AM »

Keep in mind they will be 80 years old in just a few years. I don't know what would be expected at this point in terms of something as groundbreaking or innovative as any of these artists were in their 20's when it was a totally different music business.

As far as the studio album from 2012, it actually keeps sounding better to my ears whenever I hear it, minus a few dud tracks. I did an Amazon shuffle play the other day and a few TWGMTR tracks came on in the mix, including the title track and Summers Gone. The latter especially sounded terrific, what a great track. Strong production, strong vocals, etc. The music has aged very well in 8 years in my opinion, and is well worth a revisit.

The live album is what it is. I'll repeat what I've said for years since it came out, for all of the negativity among the more hardcore fan base, the reviews among people who bought it are almost all positive. So there seems to be a good number of people out there who don't mind the stuff we're discussing here, at least if you take a look at Amazon's reviews and similar sources. It shows a divide between more casual listeners and the fanbase.
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« Reply #40 on: May 28, 2020, 02:53:45 PM »

The "reunion" was (IMO) a failed opportunity.  It came as no surprise that it was crap, but still I had hopes they could be their ages and make real music as the old men they now are.  Instead we get the "Let's autotune and over produce this thing so we can capture 1965 again!"   Yay, only nope.  It's fake and sickening.  I love the BB's for what I love about them.  BW is one of the greatest musical entities of the 20th century - unfortunately saddled with the stupid marketing/image yoke that has continually suppressed and limited his scope.  He has done wondrous music, for which I am grateful, but allowed to simply be a creator without all the baggage, he might have done so much more.    Just look at what Dylan has been able to do in his elderly years - love him or not, he's been true to himself and done as he wished with no compunction to be the Bob of 1965.   
Bob is probably the only artists of his stature that has continued to move forward. The others that have been at it since the 60's long ago settled into being touring oldies acts, playing their greatest hits forever, and not trying to forge any new ground musically. in Brian's case, he had many years where the music just poured out of him, he was overflowing with musical ideas. It's been a long time since he was in that place, and it's probably best to not expect the inspiration to return.
As always, Bob is the exception.
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« Reply #41 on: May 28, 2020, 06:38:13 PM »

The "reunion" was (IMO) a failed opportunity.  It came as no surprise that it was crap, but still I had hopes they could be their ages and make real music as the old men they now are.  Instead we get the "Let's autotune and over produce this thing so we can capture 1965 again!"   Yay, only nope.  It's fake and sickening.  I love the BB's for what I love about them.  BW is one of the greatest musical entities of the 20th century - unfortunately saddled with the stupid marketing/image yoke that has continually suppressed and limited his scope.  He has done wondrous music, for which I am grateful, but allowed to simply be a creator without all the baggage, he might have done so much more.    Just look at what Dylan has been able to do in his elderly years - love him or not, he's been true to himself and done as he wished with no compunction to be the Bob of 1965.   
Bob is probably the only artists of his stature that has continued to move forward. The others that have been at it since the 60's long ago settled into being touring oldies acts, playing their greatest hits forever, and not trying to forge any new ground musically. in Brian's case, he had many years where the music just poured out of him, he was overflowing with musical ideas. It's been a long time since he was in that place, and it's probably best to not expect the inspiration to return.
As always, Bob is the exception.

I'm just curious to hear opinions on Dylan's forging new ground musically in the past 20 years, based on his output and on what new ground has been forged on his last 20 years of releases. Just as a comparison with Brian Wilson, which is what the above points had mentioned, here is a listing of both artists' albums since 2000:

Brian:
Live At The Roxy Theatre 2000
Pet Sounds Live 2002
Gettin In Over My Head 2004
Brian Wilson Presents Smile 2004
What I Really Want For Christmas 2005
That Lucky Old Sun 2008
Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin 2010
In The Key Of Disney 2011
No Pier Pressure 2015
Brian Wilson and Friends (CD/DVD) 2016

Bob:
Love And Theft 2001
Modern Times 2006
Together Through Life 2009
Christmas In The Heart 2009
Tempest 2012
Shadows In The Night 2015
Fallen Angels 2016
Triplicate 2017


Of course both men have released some terrific albums, but when you look at their output side by side, is it really that much different? Dylan's last three albums have been entirely covers of standards from the Great American Songbook, with the Dylan style of course. Brian did Gershwin and Disney standards in his own style. They've each had their "original" albums that I'd call new material, and Dylan went back into blues and rockabilly while Brian did both his own signature sounds and brought in more current artists to mix it up stylistically. Dylan collaborated with Robert Hunter, Brian with Van Dyke Parks and others. Dylan has not released a current live album in decades, while Brian obviously has a handful on the list. They both did Christmas albums.

I do see something of a parallel between the two in terms of albums they've released in the past 20 years.

I'm just curious to hear the rationale of Dylan breaking new musical ground and holding that up as a comparison to his peers like Brian and McCartney when they've all been pretty steady in their releases and/or touring activities, and all of them are doing their own thing balancing their legacy of hits and sounds (and styles) with playing the hits for the fans in concert.

I guess I don't see it on the surface regarding Dylan's breaking all that much new musical ground in the past 20 years and if I'm missing something in that discography I'm more than happy to revisit it and give it a new listen, because I'm a Dylan fan. But it seems like if he's been recording jazz standards for the past three albums and five years, he hasn't been breaking much if any new ground in that regard, and his better albums from the past two decades have been done in styles which he had done 50+ years ago as well. Not a critique, just an observation. I'm happy to change my mind with some examples. And of course we'll see what he has to offer soon with his new album.
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« Reply #42 on: May 29, 2020, 12:29:49 PM »

The "reunion" was (IMO) a failed opportunity.  It came as no surprise that it was crap, but still I had hopes they could be their ages and make real music as the old men they now are.  Instead we get the "Let's autotune and over produce this thing so we can capture 1965 again!"   Yay, only nope.  It's fake and sickening.  I love the BB's for what I love about them.  BW is one of the greatest musical entities of the 20th century - unfortunately saddled with the stupid marketing/image yoke that has continually suppressed and limited his scope.  He has done wondrous music, for which I am grateful, but allowed to simply be a creator without all the baggage, he might have done so much more.    Just look at what Dylan has been able to do in his elderly years - love him or not, he's been true to himself and done as he wished with no compunction to be the Bob of 1965.   

Are you referring to just the live album or the entire 50th reunion itself? 
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« Reply #43 on: May 29, 2020, 12:32:03 PM »

Keep in mind they will be 80 years old in just a few years. I don't know what would be expected at this point in terms of something as groundbreaking or innovative as any of these artists were in their 20's when it was a totally different music business.


Agreed.  I thought the 50th reunion, despite it getting a bit derailed near the end, was overall and awesome year to be a Beach Boys fan.  High-profile appearances and a successful tour as well as a really solid album that was easily the best stuff they've done since the 70's.
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« Reply #44 on: May 29, 2020, 01:56:38 PM »

In hindsight they were probably victims of their own success. If the album had been a dud, had they not extended the tour from the original 50 shows to over 70 including international gigs, had they not done Bonaroo with its younger audience, the C50 would have just quietly ended. The fact they did all the above and did it well raised expectations probably too high for any continuation.
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« Reply #45 on: May 29, 2020, 07:18:16 PM »

The "reunion" was (IMO) a failed opportunity.  It came as no surprise that it was crap, but still I had hopes they could be their ages and make real music as the old men they now are.  Instead we get the "Let's autotune and over produce this thing so we can capture 1965 again!"   Yay, only nope.  It's fake and sickening.  I love the BB's for what I love about them.  BW is one of the greatest musical entities of the 20th century - unfortunately saddled with the stupid marketing/image yoke that has continually suppressed and limited his scope.  He has done wondrous music, for which I am grateful, but allowed to simply be a creator without all the baggage, he might have done so much more.    Just look at what Dylan has been able to do in his elderly years - love him or not, he's been true to himself and done as he wished with no compunction to be the Bob of 1965.   
Bob is probably the only artists of his stature that has continued to move forward. The others that have been at it since the 60's long ago settled into being touring oldies acts, playing their greatest hits forever, and not trying to forge any new ground musically. in Brian's case, he had many years where the music just poured out of him, he was overflowing with musical ideas. It's been a long time since he was in that place, and it's probably best to not expect the inspiration to return.
As always, Bob is the exception.

I'm just curious to hear opinions on Dylan's forging new ground musically in the past 20 years, based on his output and on what new ground has been forged on his last 20 years of releases. Just as a comparison with Brian Wilson, which is what the above points had mentioned, here is a listing of both artists' albums since 2000:

Brian:
Live At The Roxy Theatre 2000
Pet Sounds Live 2002
Gettin In Over My Head 2004
Brian Wilson Presents Smile 2004
What I Really Want For Christmas 2005
That Lucky Old Sun 2008
Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin 2010
In The Key Of Disney 2011
No Pier Pressure 2015
Brian Wilson and Friends (CD/DVD) 2016

Bob:
Love And Theft 2001
Modern Times 2006
Together Through Life 2009
Christmas In The Heart 2009
Tempest 2012
Shadows In The Night 2015
Fallen Angels 2016
Triplicate 2017


Of course both men have released some terrific albums, but when you look at their output side by side, is it really that much different? Dylan's last three albums have been entirely covers of standards from the Great American Songbook, with the Dylan style of course. Brian did Gershwin and Disney standards in his own style. They've each had their "original" albums that I'd call new material, and Dylan went back into blues and rockabilly while Brian did both his own signature sounds and brought in more current artists to mix it up stylistically. Dylan collaborated with Robert Hunter, Brian with Van Dyke Parks and others. Dylan has not released a current live album in decades, while Brian obviously has a handful on the list. They both did Christmas albums.

I do see something of a parallel between the two in terms of albums they've released in the past 20 years.

I'm just curious to hear the rationale of Dylan breaking new musical ground and holding that up as a comparison to his peers like Brian and McCartney when they've all been pretty steady in their releases and/or touring activities, and all of them are doing their own thing balancing their legacy of hits and sounds (and styles) with playing the hits for the fans in concert.

I guess I don't see it on the surface regarding Dylan's breaking all that much new musical ground in the past 20 years and if I'm missing something in that discography I'm more than happy to revisit it and give it a new listen, because I'm a Dylan fan. But it seems like if he's been recording jazz standards for the past three albums and five years, he hasn't been breaking much if any new ground in that regard, and his better albums from the past two decades have been done in styles which he had done 50+ years ago as well. Not a critique, just an observation. I'm happy to change my mind with some examples. And of course we'll see what he has to offer soon with his new album.
Have you heard the new songs Dylan's been posting online? New album due next month.  And a good chunk of his live set is made up of Time Out of Mind and beyond. Brian doesn't have any recent songs in his live sets.
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thatjacob
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« Reply #46 on: May 30, 2020, 07:19:36 AM »

For those like you Nate who know auto tune, how would you rate those clips on a scale of 1-10? (with the Live CD being an 11)
I thought Mike was minimal if at all, and the backing 2-3 myself.
I'd rate it a 5-6. The high harmonies together seem inhuman. The threshhold settings on it are too harsh.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #47 on: May 30, 2020, 09:20:28 AM »

The "reunion" was (IMO) a failed opportunity.  It came as no surprise that it was crap, but still I had hopes they could be their ages and make real music as the old men they now are.  Instead we get the "Let's autotune and over produce this thing so we can capture 1965 again!"   Yay, only nope.  It's fake and sickening.  I love the BB's for what I love about them.  BW is one of the greatest musical entities of the 20th century - unfortunately saddled with the stupid marketing/image yoke that has continually suppressed and limited his scope.  He has done wondrous music, for which I am grateful, but allowed to simply be a creator without all the baggage, he might have done so much more.    Just look at what Dylan has been able to do in his elderly years - love him or not, he's been true to himself and done as he wished with no compunction to be the Bob of 1965.   
Bob is probably the only artists of his stature that has continued to move forward. The others that have been at it since the 60's long ago settled into being touring oldies acts, playing their greatest hits forever, and not trying to forge any new ground musically. in Brian's case, he had many years where the music just poured out of him, he was overflowing with musical ideas. It's been a long time since he was in that place, and it's probably best to not expect the inspiration to return.
As always, Bob is the exception.

I'm just curious to hear opinions on Dylan's forging new ground musically in the past 20 years, based on his output and on what new ground has been forged on his last 20 years of releases. Just as a comparison with Brian Wilson, which is what the above points had mentioned, here is a listing of both artists' albums since 2000:

Brian:
Live At The Roxy Theatre 2000
Pet Sounds Live 2002
Gettin In Over My Head 2004
Brian Wilson Presents Smile 2004
What I Really Want For Christmas 2005
That Lucky Old Sun 2008
Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin 2010
In The Key Of Disney 2011
No Pier Pressure 2015
Brian Wilson and Friends (CD/DVD) 2016

Bob:
Love And Theft 2001
Modern Times 2006
Together Through Life 2009
Christmas In The Heart 2009
Tempest 2012
Shadows In The Night 2015
Fallen Angels 2016
Triplicate 2017


Of course both men have released some terrific albums, but when you look at their output side by side, is it really that much different? Dylan's last three albums have been entirely covers of standards from the Great American Songbook, with the Dylan style of course. Brian did Gershwin and Disney standards in his own style. They've each had their "original" albums that I'd call new material, and Dylan went back into blues and rockabilly while Brian did both his own signature sounds and brought in more current artists to mix it up stylistically. Dylan collaborated with Robert Hunter, Brian with Van Dyke Parks and others. Dylan has not released a current live album in decades, while Brian obviously has a handful on the list. They both did Christmas albums.

I do see something of a parallel between the two in terms of albums they've released in the past 20 years.

I'm just curious to hear the rationale of Dylan breaking new musical ground and holding that up as a comparison to his peers like Brian and McCartney when they've all been pretty steady in their releases and/or touring activities, and all of them are doing their own thing balancing their legacy of hits and sounds (and styles) with playing the hits for the fans in concert.

I guess I don't see it on the surface regarding Dylan's breaking all that much new musical ground in the past 20 years and if I'm missing something in that discography I'm more than happy to revisit it and give it a new listen, because I'm a Dylan fan. But it seems like if he's been recording jazz standards for the past three albums and five years, he hasn't been breaking much if any new ground in that regard, and his better albums from the past two decades have been done in styles which he had done 50+ years ago as well. Not a critique, just an observation. I'm happy to change my mind with some examples. And of course we'll see what he has to offer soon with his new album.
Have you heard the new songs Dylan's been posting online? New album due next month.  And a good chunk of his live set is made up of Time Out of Mind and beyond. Brian doesn't have any recent songs in his live sets.

I've heard whatever new material he's put out in advance of the full album, yes. Murder Most Foul and False Prophet specifically. I'm looking forward to hearing the rest - 2 CD's worth! When Murder Most Foul first came out, WXPN played the full 16 minutes, then did something really cool: They did a long set featuring the original records Dylan mentions in the lyrics. That was awesome. However, I have to be honest, 16 minutes started to drag - You have to be in the right frame of mind to listen to that track.

False Prophet - It's a blues. NPR did a thing on how the song sounds like a song called If Lovin' Is Believing by Billy The Kid Emerson, a cut released on Sun in '54...and it does have the same groove and sound.

I thought Dylan's 80 year old voice is sounding more like Tom Waits when he gets into that lower growl range. I dig it, it has a very foreboding and dark quality, and the guy is putting his voice out there front and center just like Cash did on the American records, it's refreshing to hear.

But I come back to what I said earlier...of course not having heard the full new album yet...it sounds like Dylan being Dylan! In terms of breaking any ground musically, it still sounds like Bob being himself, and I think that was my point.

How much new ground will Bob, or Brian, or Sir Paul, or Sir Elton, or Pete Townshend, or The Stones, or Clapton, or any of that original group of the true innovators actually be able to break? Or how much innovation will that original group of innovators and their peers who are now pushing 80 be expected to release on a new project? They literally invented this stuff - some more than others - out of their own imaginations. There was no "Freewheelin", "Highway 61", "Revolver", "Pet Sounds", "Tommy", "Exile", etc for them to draw influence from after the fact...they created and invented it.

I guess I'm saying maybe the time is past for these artists who are the true innovators from the 60's to be *expected* to break new ground musically in their late 70's and 80's. Maybe they will! But I don't expect it, nor am I disappointed if they put out music that is simply them being them at a given time when they release a new work.

I don't hear Dylan doing anything that's not Dylan, which is what makes him Dylan! If that makes sense lol. But I wouldn't use him or any of the new releases from any of those artists to compare to others and say "this one is breaking new ground, and the others are not" when Dylan is putting out new music that is compelling and a great listen, but is there truly any new ground being broken if he's basing his track off of a Sun Records B-side from 1954? 
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"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
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