ALBUM OF WEEK 12 – DEATH & JOY

Oh dears, last week was absolutely insane because of the wedding of the year. That’s the reason why I didn’t post much, flew to Madrid on Wednesday and got back in town by Sunday, and in between it was nonstop. Glad to say it’s been one of the most amazing weekends in long time. Guess I’ll write a bit about it.

Despite such active days, last week was marked by the discovery of this little treasure, Death & Joy, by Brad Smith’s solo project named Abandon Jalopy, recently released. Perhaps the name of Brad Smith might not be familiar to you, so here I am to clarify this guy was (is) Blind Melon’s bass player.

I’m not very good at being acquainted with band members’ solo projects, in fact I’m starting to be more aware of what’s going on around, because I’m realizing I’m missing lots of great stuff. Nevertheless, it’s impossible to cover all new releases, bands, tours…and honestly, prefer to narrow my choices, otherwise I’m ending up consuming without really enjoying. In case I’m missing something, I trust enough people close to me who would point me to the right direction.

Thanks to an interview to the artist included in last month issue of Popular 1 Rock magazine, credited to a friend of mine who is a diehard fan of Blind Melon, I heard of Abandon Jalopy for the first time. It’s amazing the influence established press can have over people, as many friends, loyal readers of the magazine, started posting this video on their FB walls.

I had to see, better said, hear it for myself, and judge. And that’s what I did.

Due to late night writing, I’m starting to listen to music with proper headphones. I’m a laptop user for the moment, and don’t have speakers, to tell the truth, it’s my entire fault the precarious conditions I’m working at. Anyway, at certain hours I’m not supposed to play music loud, and I was tired of the awful sound coming directly from the computer speakers, thus some months ago I purchased these terrific Sennheiser headphones I’m delighted with. Probably the direct impact of music right into your ears might not be the healthiest option, and sure headaches can easily bring out if you’re prone to,  but you notice many arrangements and details in songs, it’d take you longer or would never been noticed otherwise.

So, last week I listened to Death & Joy through the mighty headphones and had another musical crush.

To start with, the whole work has the Blind Melon brand clearly stamped, not intending to overshadow though, but just reflecting a style which goes beyond the albums recorded with Shannon Hoon. What is out of question, once you listen to this album, is Brad Smith’s brilliant contribution to the core of Melon’s compositions.

Can’t describe my feelings with songs such as the opening Up Til Now, Black Cloud, Hold Tight, or the one featuring Shannon’s daughter Nico Blue on backing vocals, Love Has a Way, in a very objective way. Just can say I was overwhelmed in first place, and could’t erase Hoon from my mind at all. I can easily imagine him singing Death & Joy and my heart really shrinks… so evoking!

Death & Joy is this little treasure condemned to be ignored by the mass, created just for the pleasure of those where in the right place at the right time. Just hope my call is convincing enough for you to belong to this chosen minority, and enjoy this wonderful piece of cake.

4 responses to “ALBUM OF WEEK 12 – DEATH & JOY

  1. Como ya sabes tambien soy un fan de Blind Melon, los adoro. Este album me tiene enganchado, es ideal para todo tipo de estados de animo. Saludos

  2. pues no tenía ni idea (claro) de quién había detrás de este disco, pero lo escuchado, por lo menos el primer tiento que le di, estaba bastante bien…

    jué, Blind Melon… esperaba mucho de esta banda, y cuando por fin, tras leer sobre ellos (y después de tragarme en su época el vídeo de la niña-abeja miles de veces), lo fantástico fue que… no me decepcionaron! eran exactamente la clase de grupo que esperaba… muy grandes

    • Blind Melon siempre estará entre mis bandas favoritas, es muy especial para mi. Tengo pendiente por leer la biografía de Hoon y la banda, escrita por Greg Prato, de la que, fijo, hablaré por aquí. Creo que mi disco favorito es Soup, pero hoy le he pegado varias escuchas al primero y es maravilloso también.

      Posiblemente una mezcla de nostalgia y la necesidad de más Blind Melon, han sido esenciales para que Abandon Jalopy me haya emocionado a la primera escucha. Me encanta.

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