Sneaky move by The Caretaker to release an album with a track on it called "An Autumnal Equinox" on the autumn equinox. I say sneaky because nobody had seemed to have noticed this fact until this past weekend. Today marks four years since Leyland Kirby dropped his 10th album under the moniker, the first in the 6 part EATEOT series. A series that's seen insane growth in exposure recently, even raking in over 100,000 new views on YouTube yesterday alone. At this rate it's gonna pass 3 million total views by the week for all we know.
I bet some people are wondering why I've put off writing about this for so long. I'll tell you why: it is REALLY hard for me to talk about. Not because it's traumatizing or anything, but because I can't for the life of me figure out what the correct approach to reviewing it is. How much detail do I go into? Do I point out the connections to his earlier work when talking about it? Lots of questions but few answers. I don't want to spoil the experience for anyone who hasn't gone through it yet. Nor do I want to know why you haven't yet either.
Stage 1 is a cake walk. 12 songs of long forgotten melodies of the past from records that have been gathering dust in your grandfather's attic for the last 50 years, maybe longer. They don't require much effort to enjoy, and even less effort to hate. But how could you hate them? They're so cozy, sweet, and simple. If you like the loops, you'll like the album, and if you don't then you won't. I was once told by a peer of mine that they hated the album because they didn't like the samples, and I think that's completely understandable. It's the kind of thing where if you immediately dislike a track, you'll want to skip it. They go around and around with no evolution at all. But if you love them well... you'll break your repeat button. And for me, that's how I feel about almost every single one of them with one or two exceptions.
I will always remember the first summer I spent with this album. Post-beach stops for ice cream, car windows down, parked under shady trees with the sound of boomers whacking golf balls nearby while "The Loves of My Entire Life" gently emanates from my headphones. Waking up at 11:30 am with the tune of "An Autumnal Equinox" stuck in my head. Wondering why "Things That are Beautiful and Transient" is so damn boring (the one song out of a whopping 50 that I'd describe as such). It's 4 and a half minutes, but the loop only repeats 3 times, so as a result it feels extremely drawn out which is to its detriment. Everything else is splendid though.
My advice to anyone still hesitant to get into this mammoth of a project is to start here (duh) but also to give the first stage more than one try. Make an effort to familiarize yourself with the track-listing. Not only will doing so lead to a few 'aha' moments later on should you choose to continue, but I guarantee you these songs will grow on you if you're not feeling all that impressed by them after the first listen. If you HAVE heard Stage 1 already and love it, there are plenty of moments like the ones on here to be found on his previous releases, namely 'An Empty Bliss Beyond this World' and 'Persistent Repetition of Phrases'. If you're in that camp definitely give those a peep!!
I won't be continuing my review for the series any time soon, this was just to get things off the ground. Things that are beautiful and transient.