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March 26, 2004 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-26

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March 26, 2004
arts.michigandaily. corn

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Proficient live act
fails to deliver on CD

By Laurence J. Freedman
Daily Arts Writer

Music REVIEW -*I
Particle's first record, Launchpad,
glaringly demonstrates that artists are
not necessarily entertaining just
because they are celebrated. Its release
finally allows the band to be viewed
with proper perspective: as a very
impressive novelty act.
The Los Angeles quartet attacked the
jamband scene in 2002 with a wild new
sound displayed during a full schedule
of high-profile,
late-night gigs. Particle
They certainly
deserved the huge Launchpad
buzz that followed. Or. Music
Their music is
funky but intense, like electronica. It is
consistently psychedelic and almost
never relaxing. Particle are the perfect
group for someone looking to keep the
party going past sunrise. They are the
band that at the right place and the right
time can make you forget that your
night will inevitably end.
During these moments, Particle
delightfully smile back toward the
sweaty crowd, as if in acknowledge-
ment of how much it means to every-
one that they continue playing louder,
harder and most importantly, longer.
They churn out beats and lines that
dare you not to dance. They build up
tension without changing dynamics
and then release it, using that explo-
sion as the basis for the next.
The key here is that Particle make

music that is best experienced, not lis-
tened to on record. Maybe this is the
truthful cliche that applies to most
jambands, but it is definitely why Par-
ticle's Launchpad is so boring. While
the album has solid renditions of the
band's core catalogue, these tunes sim-
ply don't translate to your stereo very
well. It was wise to bring in a talented
producer like Tom Rothcock (Beck,
Foo Fighters) to help out, but it might
have been better for Particle to not
release a studio album at all.
Particle's story, until now, has been
an almost perfect tale of a-band honing
a sound and building a glowing reputa-
tion through word of mouth from those
who have heard about or actually
enjoyed one of their shows. A poor
record like Launchpad will only
expose more people to Particle's sound
in the wrong places at the wrong times,
chipping away at the mystique that the.
band has rightfully earned through
unquestionably innovative live per-

Jazz pianist Mehldau releases more mainstream LP

By Andrew Horowitz
Daily Arts Writer

past. Largo hinted at the possibility of
Mehldau moving in an entirely new

The jazz world has anticipated Brad
Mehldau's next move since 2002's
Largo. Produced by pop-god Jon Brion,
Largo was Mehldau's most elaborate
experimental album. The recording uti-
lized rich orchestration, a rock drum-
mer and melancholic studio-tailored
arrangements. Furthermore, it created a
new legion of young fans, those not
acquainted with Mehldau's recorded'

mainstream direc-
tion. All this com-
bines to make
Anything Goes, the
follow-up album
by the Brad
Mehldau Trio, an
ironically risky

Mehidau Trio
a Goes
Warner Bros.

Mehldau. Deconstructivism and frag-
mentism are key to his musical vocabu-
lary. The trio maintains what some have
termed musical telepathy, playing
extremely complicated rhythmic and
harmonic gestures entirely in sync. As
in the past, Mehldau attempts a Radio-
head cover as well.
By far the most rewarding listens on
Anything Goes are the tracks where
Mehldau takes the most liberties. On
the Cole Porter-penned "Anything
Goes,' the trio utilizes a colorful four-
chord vamp to frame the melody on top
of 5/4 time. The solos sound fresh and

inspired, and the players are equally
matched in virtuosity. "Get Happy" is
equally intriguing, pairing dissonant
harmonies with an intense bass groove.
There's also a fair amount of ballads,
including the light Paul Simon medita-
tion "Still Crazy After All These Years."
Over the years, Mehldau has pro-
duced a catalogue of trio records that
may someday be considered classics.
This recording, however, reveals noth-
ing new, and will probably be remem-
bered more as the follow-up to Largo.
Nonetheless, Anything Goes is inspired,
original and entirely Brad Mehldau.

-As quoted in the Daily's review of Elvis Costellov
album Spike on Mar 22, 1989.

endeavor. While most musicians safely
record standards, Mehldau's departure
from experimentalist to traditionalist
repertoire on the new recording is a jolt.
That's not to say Mehldau isn't still



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