The Microphones - The Glow Pt. 2
Record Label: K Records
Release Date: September 25, 2001; April 8, 2008 (reissue)
Simple and raw will always win over over-produced. While I still have a hard time getting into The Dirty Projectors, The Microphones are like the idiot savant of the genre.
I've heard most of The Glow Pt. 2 was recorded with a four track. The bulk of The Glow Pt. 2 sounds like it's unmastered, but all of Phil Elvrum's instruments are intricately laced like perfectly fit pieces of a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle.
"I Want Wind to Blow" is a perfect opening track and accounts for what the listener will come to expect throughout. In fact, if there's only one problem with the record, it is its length. Though only a few minutes over an hour, the album will begin to become tiresome during the start, but there's plenty at the end that will bring the listener back if return visits are just a scan through the album for favorites toward the end ("I Felt Your Size" and "I Am Bored").
Elvrum touches on the innocences of life lyrically like the likes of Jeff Mangum and Kimya Dawson. Whether it's relationships, childhood, or the simple essences of life, he sings about it:
The thunder clouds broke up
And the rain dried up
The lightning let up
The clacking shutters just shut up.
-"I Want Wind to Blow"
There are plenty of instrumental interludes within songs and stand alone tracks ("Instrumental," "Something," and "Something (cont.)") to give vocal breaks. The standalone tracks are no more than just breath, but they also show the simplicity and fun of creating music, even it doesn't seem slick in sound.
Elvrum's voice is light, but heavy with words and meaning. He shows that slick production doesn't create good music, it's more of the thought that goes behind it. The Glow Pt. 2 may sound dumb to some, or it may just be too smart for its own good.