Tortoise - Millions Now Living Will Never Die
Jan 12, 2021
85
Inspired by @pressrg's wonderful review of this LP, I decided to give it a spin.
I've been a fan of Doug McCombs (the bassist) for a few years now, I hold two of his solo records - released under the "Brokeback" moniker - to the highest of regards. His gentle, barebones approach to basswork gives everything he touches a timeless feel. And Millions Now Living serves only to strengthen this point. Granted, he's surrounded by four other prodigies also bent on deconstructing the meaning of "rock".
It was released in 1996 to what I can only imagine was an unprepared audience. Nothing at the time sounded like this, nor has it ever since. The familiar pieces are all here (guitars, drums, bass, vibraphone, organs) but it's all stitched together with a thin string of abstraction. Nothing quite progresses the way you'd expect and although it sounds very pleasant overall, there's always a certain distance between you and the piece. Its strange machinations always evading a label or definition and, by consequence, the listener.
25 years on and it's as strong a release as anything the rock genre offered in the meanwhile. Goes to show how durable music can be when it's just made for the sake of itself and not some external expectation.
1 Comment
Jan 19, 2021
Wow, thanks for the shout-out. Glad I could be the impetus for a thread of meaningful writing! Lovely review, as always.
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