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Monday, November 20, 2006
  The Slip - Eisenhower

though i'd like to be able to tell you i legitimately don't like this band, there are a number of things holding me back. the first is the instrumental part. some of what they have going is very good. it's tragically good, really, because by itself, the music is really quite something. the opening moments of "Even Rats" feature the same guitar that makes me like bands like Minus The Bear and becomes half of the appeal of The Whitest Boy Alive, while "Paper Birds" (though long) has a wonderful patchwork of elements, from the strumming guitar to touches of piano, a few keyboard/electronic instances (i assume), and a few really good bass lines. and every song has something redeeming. my favorite is "The Soft Machine Intro," clocking in at 2:20 in the dead middle of the album, a veritable jungle soundtrack that launches into a beautifully composed instrumental ditty. then "The Soft Machine" itself comes on, and i'm disappointed.

all of a sudden the real problem becomes clear. it's everything to do with human voices. the lyrics are halfway to hilarious but stop just short and wind up sounding a little like they used a team of fifth graders and a lot of weed. and i'm not just talking about "Children of December," either, which is just about the lamest idea for a song i've come across all year, making it at least laughable. i'm talking about all the tracks, where i can understand the lyrics too well for them to be so pointless. even if you're not one of those music listeners that needs to be halfway interested in what's being said, there's always how it's being sung, which for The Slip is just as much of a problem. all of the vocals smack of hardcore mediocrity, reminiscent of the other Goo Goo Dolls vocalist (you: "who?" me: "exactly") and last about as long as the third track before the eyes start to roll and you think, alright, were they serious about this gig or what? not to mention: it's a bad band name, the album title doesn't make sense, and it looks like they took a profile shot of a clay extra from Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and decided it would make good cover art.

this review will never wind up quoted on anyone's website and there will probably be a lot of dissenters, but good. because if you like The Slip, you like The Slip! and you keep on likin 'em, because if you go to see them live, chances are you'll see My Morning Jacket too (check their myspace for tour dates).

::::but the point is to let you hear the strong points, and those are here:
The Slip - The Soft Machine (Intro)
The Slip - Paper Birds

don't forget that the hype can get you the two single tracks ("Children of December" - which, of course, is very good musically, just awful lyrically - and "Even Rats").
If you click on the link you can get a free live album by The Slip: Live In Providence, 6/12/2004
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