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Please try again later. Your Amazon Music account is currently associated with a different marketplace. Sample this song. Title by Artist. A health worker sprays disinfectant near a suspected Ebola patient holding a baby at an Ebola treatment center in the Eastern Congolese town of Butembo, March Health workers carry the coffin of a man who died at an Ebola treatment center in Butembo, March Healthcare worker carry the coffin of a baby suspected of dying of Ebola during the funeral in Beni, December A mother of a child, suspected of dying from Ebola, cries near her child's coffin in Beni, December A healthcare worker sprays a room during the funeral of Kavugho Cindi Dorcas, who is suspected of dying of Ebola, in Beni, December 9.
The mother of a baby suspected of dying from Ebola cries outside a hospital in Beni, December An Ebola survivor plays with a boy suspected of being infected with Ebola at a transit center in Beni, December I've always been a "music trumps lyrics" kind of guy, so I didn't even really care about the lyrics of the album the first times I listened to this.
I simply enjoyed the melodies and harmonies and the way their album so cooly and seemingly transitions from one song to another. I find that the records I want to continually listen to are those where I can get more into the rhythms and mood of the music rather than the lyrics. I have to be quite honest, I had no idea those two songs you mentioned, Ed, were even remotely religious except for the obvious title of "Sodom and Gomorrow".
The standout track for me is "Congoman which is the one I keep coming back to. However, one criticism I have the album is that I have hard time thinking that I'll be coming back to it now that this is over.
I may be wrong since I have found myself humming "Fisherman" almost every morning since listening to this album for this project, but considering how music is SO subjective, I just don't know how often this will find its way into my rotation. That's my problem as much as it is the little problems I may find in the album, but it's there nonetheless. As far as the comments of others here, I am thrilled that this conversation seems to be focused and to the point. I know this has been a rambling comment, but I think that this is going to be a lot of fun down the road because it will introduce people to new sounds and stretch their mind and ear like this choice despite it being less esoteric did for me.
I also want to point out that this comment will not punctuate my feelings about the album. I like what you said when you introduced this whole project in that music grows on people, and it's better to let it marinate for a long period of time which, if I remember, is why you gave us a month to listen to it.
All that to say, I might be back with some more comments. Who knows, I may even find myself listening to the album more than I anticipate now that this is over Kudos, Ed.
Sorry for the rambling comment, hehe. I usually have to write in generalities when talking about music. It's funny that you point out how coolly and seamlessly the songs transition from one to the other, because I think this is a purely psychological effect rather than something actually occurring in the mix of the album, the idea of a lot of the songs kind of gelling together.
It turns out there is actually not one song on this album that has a solid cut sonically. Every song fades out, as if the music, and the party, is still continuing on. Then the next song just starts. There aren't any creative techniques musical segues, studio chatter, etc. So I suppose what I'm saying is that the idea that this music feels like it flows seamlessly together is merely a confirmation of the repetitiveness of the music in general. Kevin, like you I'm a "music trumps lyrics" guy.
Bad or silly lyrics can ruin a song for me, and great ones can elevate it, but for the most part I don't pay a lot of attention to what's being said. The sound is what matters most to me. So while the lyrics to a couple of songs here do nag at me, I obviously haven't let that keep me from loving this album a great deal.
One thing I'm curious about: why do you think you won't be returning to the album since you do seem to like it? Carson, I don't think that's quite right. There's more to the flow of an album than literally stitching songs together so that they are connected.
That's a fairly modern conceit in the era of the concept album, but albums still had and have "flow" — talk about an abstract, subjective concept! I think the sense of flow on Heart of the Congos is down to careful, deliberate sequencing rather than any repetitiveness in the music.
Sequencing is not often talked about — and the digital era is constantly threatening to change the nature of the album-as-self-contained-statement — but it's an important art in itself.
The flow of this album, from the dark, chant-driven first two songs to the gradually increasing light and soulfulness of the subsequent tracks, is built from the ways in which the songs work together. Good point, Carson, about the psychological effect there and, looking at those typos in the line you quoted, for making me realize the dangers of writing a comment while watching TV, hehe.
I suppose we can say that as long as we're not using "repetitive" as a negative term. The repetitiveness of the music -- if its part of a motif instead of laziness -- is what makes it endearing to me if not wholly enduring. Like I said, I don't know if I'll revisit this album a ton in the future, but I know that I'm grateful for the experience of thinking that Reggae is something other than what my limited and narrow view of it was.
I don't think it's any more repetitive than other bands who are repetitive in their need to "reinvent" or keep listeners on their toes.
You can be experimental but be repetitive in that experimentation the same time for me, lately, Radiohead as struck me as a band that's kind of repetitive but by no means is it "bad". I like the effect the album has, though, because even if it is repetitive not derivative, which sounds more negative, but repetitive , it still succeeded in never once making me want to fast forward a track or turn it off midway.
Now, one thing I didn't try doing was listening to the album in the car. My commute to work is only about 20 minutes, so I try to stay away from music that I always want to hear within the context of the entire album. I wonder if I would be as enamored with the album in short chunks; I only ever listened to the album as a whole, so that seemless experience was integral to me enjoying the album. Whether it's The Congos actually doing that on the album or not, I don't know, but I do know that the effect the album created for me worked brilliantly as something that I could drift in and out of and still enjoy.
When I was playing the album non-stop at first, I would often leave the room for a few minutes and then come back and just jump right back into the mood and grooves of the album. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, and I know that may suggest The Congos music as being "simplistic," but really, simple and effective is often the hardest thing to do in music.
I'm reminded of Scorsese's quote about The Thin Red Line when he said something to the extent that the multiple narrators that sound the same and the actors that look the same is kind of the point of the movie; it's a movie where you can come in and out of it at any time and not be lost Scorsese, I assume, felt that Malick intentionally made the film that way. There is no beginning and ending per se; it's a film that you can enter into communion and contemplation with at any time.
It's a rather loose analogy, I know, but I felt that way about this album, and I usually find myself liking that type of music the best I didn't get frustrated with the fact that I didn't know track titles or song lyrics. However, if I ever wanted to experience the album outside of that type of setting say by putting some titles on a playlist , I would be hard-pressed to find anything outside of the first two tracks that I would want to listen to isolated.
I think I prefer the album as a whole. Part 2: So, yes, Carson, that was a very roundabout way of saying that I am probably, psychologically, making the album have that effect because of the way I prefer to listen to the album as a whole and a lot of the time, after a few intent listens, as background music. I don't know if it's anything in particular the musicians are doing, but they have created an album that lends itself to that effect. This mentality will make more sense with my pick next month.
I don't know if we're actually that far apart, Carson. I do agree with you that even though I'm not really big on lyrics, the lyrics of the reggae genre have always struck me as kind of ho-hum, too.
Anyone else completely disagree with this notion? Ed: I may have answered your question in my response to Carson. I'll try to think of a better way to articulate it if that doesn't make sense. We're talking personal tastes here, and old habits are hard to break.
I am enthusiastic about new music when people introduce me to it, but I'm usually someone who is so stuck in my ways that it's hard to keep the album at the top of the playlist when I return to the stuff I really like. I am not much an eclectic when it comes to music outside of "giving things a shot. New music meaning new styles of music are usually diversions for me when I get a little bored with what I usually listen to.
I recharge with new kinds of music, and then I'm ready to return to the music I love with a more enriched palette. Kevin, that makes sense, and yes, your answer to Carson did answer my question. I have very different listening habits, I think. You mentioned listening to an album intently for months, and that's something I almost never do. I listen a lot more broadly and, as a result, probably much less deeply to any given album. Over time, I can get pretty well acquainted with the albums that I return to again and again, but it's pretty rare that I have that intense period of listening to one piece of music to the exclusion of all others.
I also find that even the albums I love best eventually pale a bit if I listen too often: I like to return to my favorites every once in a while rather than gorging on them. But everyone's different, which is why I like hearing about other people's listening habits, too. Music is such a personal thing, and everyone interacts with it in different ways. Or is it just a free for all? I know Kevin has the next pick, I can't wait, any clues what it will be? If this is a spoiler that isn't wanted disregard these questions.
Jamie, there will be no logic to the picks, other than whatever the selector wants to recommend and discuss. Kevin has the next pick, and Carson the one after that, other than that we're trying not to book it too far in advance. Kevin will be announcing his pick soon, it's no secret but I'll let him be the one to announce it first.
I actually enjoy listening to lyrics but have found myself getting out of the habit as more and more artists have sacrificed them to the instruments and sloppy articulation. One of the things I found a little frustrating with "Heart of the Congos" is that I had to look up the lyrics. The vocals were not articulated well enough for me to understand them in their entirety. I find I get a lot more out of songs with words if I can actually understand them as sung.
Liz Phair's "Exit to Guyville" hit me like a ton of bricks because she articulated my experience while creating some very compelling music. I might feel more connected to rap, which is supposed to be about the lyrics, if I could actually understand the poetry over the thumping rhythm. That said, I listen to a lot of world music sung in languages I don't understand. In fact, I'm thinking of choosing an album by Goran Bregovic as my music club selection because I listen to his stuff constantly.
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