Sleeping at Last- Storyboards
Record Label: Independent
Release Date: July 21, 2009 (Digital), TBD (Physical)
There is a rare occurrence that every music fan desires that only actually happens once in every blue moon. It’s called “the album.” The rarity of the previously mentioned occurrence is what makes music great, and why people like yours truly are so hopelessly obsessed with finding the one. An album that brings goosebumps strewn across your skin. An album that gives you that peaceful serenity. An album that makes other albums just footnotes in its unbelievable presence bellowing loudly over your speakers each and every day until you just can’t anymore in fear of exhausting the material in your brain. Sleeping at Last has the unmatched talent and brevity to pull this off with each and every release they’ve concocted.
Here comes the next “one” with Storyboards. It’s been three long years since the release of Keep No Score, and it was well worth the wait for this fitting masterpiece. Storyboards kicks off with “Porcelain,” showing off Ryan O’Neal’s original emotional vocals backed by a beautiful composition of string orchestra and the finger-picking of an acoustic guitar. The rhythm that guides the track along is done well by Dan Perdue. “Naive” is a more piano-prominent track, that yet again displays O’Neal’s wonderfully poetic lyrical comprehension. O’Neal has a way of flowing eloquent words to fit within the created melody; it’s really masterfully done.
“Clockwork” is another masterful piece. The orchestra again flexes it’s muscles, and it sounds like something out of a Juilliard graduate's resume. There are none of the typically used instruments, just the string orchestration, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Very tasteful and original. “Unmade” is more stripped down with not much more than O’Neal’s acoustic guitar and very light drumming. O’Neal sings “I believe that we’ve got it wrong, got it wrong /We Realize that when it’s said and done, said and done / With our words we’ve lost so much more than we’ve ever won.” These epiphanies by O’Neal are all over Storyboards, more numerous than I can count. The tracks resonate through your heart like the feeling of being in love.
“Timelapse” begins with a lovely violin, then quickly breaks into a shift in tempo leaving the listener aghast in a sea of melody. The quick rhythm change gives the track a sense of urgency that none of the previous tracks contained, making it original in its own right. “Birdcage Religion” is one of the slower songs on the album, and yet is the only track that contains the use of an electric guitar. With “Green Screens”, O’Neal wastes no time with his telling of personal revelation: “If only worry could make a change / Then suddenly our world would take new shape.” Isn’t this something you’d normally read in a book? O’Neal’s hopeful and spiritual literary techniques simply cannot be matched, and he displays it on each track of Storyboards.
Keep No Score was a pivotal album that benchmarked Sleeping at Last as independent music’s heroes, but Storyboards shows the consistency that these guys have. Hopefully it won’t be three more years before another album of theirs is released, but either way, I am more than satisfied with letting this LP hog my iPod.
I love Keep No Score. Got it from noisetrade when it was on there for a month. I really want this but don't know where to get it in the UK.
Right now, it's not out on physical release in stores. You'd have to pre-order it. Just go to www.sleepingatlast.com, and you can get the digital LP for $14, and the physical release will be mailed probably around early September. If you have the means, I highly recommend it. The album is incredible.