|Drive Until He Sleeps
|Blood In The Air
|Green Of The Melon
|The Fortunate One Knows No Anxiety
|News To Go Farther
- Bass [Fender Jazz And Telecaster], Guitar [Gibson Les Paul], Electric Guitar [Magnatone], Synthesizer [EML 101, Roland Juno 106, Roland SH-101], Drum Machine [Roland TR-808], Keyboards, Maracas, Tambourine, Piano, Sampler, Sequenced By, Sounds [Shim]
- Bass [Fender Jazz And Precision], Electric Bass [Hagstrom], Double Bass [Acoustic], Bass Guitar [Guild Acoustic], Guitar [Custom 4-String Fretless Tenor], Keyboards [Wurlitzer], Synthesizer [Korg MS-20], Cello
- Brass [Horns U.K.]
- Brass [Horns U.K.]
- Brass [Horns U.K.]
- Brass [Horns U.S.]
referencing Lifelike (CD, Album) 18547-2Albums such as this have their place, though hearing them once doesn’t inspire one to instantly desire to listen again, though stumbling across the release in your collection sometime in the future as twilight is filtering in, perhaps even on a rainy day, will certainly cause you hand to linger over the recording and give it another spin.
It would be an understatement for me to suggest that Lifelike presents a romantic atmosphere, as the album doesn’t so much create the atmosphere, rather lending its support to the one that’s already happening around you, merely adding to it, creating a soundtrack of sorts. That being said, the production comes off sounding like a concept that’s been drawn from a variety of sessions and pieced together warmly and certainly with consideration … it’s just that this is a couch bound experience while scanning a coffee table book, or that to be played in the background while one goes about anything else, giving the music little consideration. Now, having said that, I instantly want to contradict myself, as the album does hold your attention in a strange manner, one that I find difficult to express, it’s simply that you will be both aware and unaware at the same time, though your attention will be held.
While the release begins in earnest, it soon evaporates into a noodling session at times of bass and drum lines that play off of and intermingle with each other, different, though reminding me of the work Neil Young did for the movie “Dead Man,” or the material created by Isotope 217. Lifelike is a tongue in cheek title to be sure, as it’s more of an assimilation of post-rock presentation as a bit of ambient jazzy improvisation of lightly handled melodies that move with ease, in that the freeform nature doesn’t venture in all directions at once. Unfortunately Ui rely on a series of electronic sounds to break up the songs, attempting to formulate a sense of juxtapositions that do not work well, especially on numbers such as “Laceria,” where these effects seem to take centerstage, sounding jittery, as if these attributes have been laid down as an idea to extend or lengthen the material, rather than to flesh it out, as was done exceeding well on the opening track “Drive Until He Sleeps.”
With all things retro being once again in fashion, the work does have a 70-ish jazz fusion feel to it, though as noted, Lifelike relies more on the electronic rather than the soloing. Without a doubt, the record is entirely consistent and layered, though without any overt dynamic tensions and a totally subdued field of melodies that are filled with polyrhythms and contrasts that are structured by a drumming that keeps the beat and backbeat with that of a relentless marching drill.
Without a doubt, one of my favorite tracks is “The Fortunate One Knows No Anxiety,” a song that is wholly brilliant, making me wish that as much consideration had been given to the other numbers, yet even this song relies on a series of electronic blips, that while work here, are in no way necessary. Nevertheless, I find the album more than enchanting, and glad to have it in my collection.
*** The Fun Facts: The band name Ui - has to do with Ui’s relationship with Stereolab’s John McEntire and his studio for Uilab. UI is also shorthand for ‘user interface.’
Review by Jenell Kesler
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