Music for the Divine - first impressions

  • As Glenn himself has said, this album might be his best sounding so far. Great warm production - everything can be heard clearly! It's a very, very funky effort and the band is performing really well. Also being quite adventurous in places. There's really bad ass funk on parts of M4TD as a matter of fact - Stepping On is probably the best example of this. Glenn takes his bass playing to a new level here (lots of effects) and it's all very cool. It's ballsy as hell, and just what I want to hear from the band. Great vocal too - lots of attitude! I even found myself pumping my fist into the air at times screaming out, being so happy with what I'm hearing. The song comes down a bit in the middle, with just Glenn on bass (effects), and then he comes in again singing with more power to GREAT effect. And then there's some more FUNKY jamming. A real winner for sure!

    Frail is another highlight, having more sections than what the brief soundclip indicates - building towards the end. My humble opinion says they could easily have stretched this out even further. On my first listen I just sat with my fingers crossed that JJ would come in at the end with a solo in which he goes absolutely crazy. I think it would have been a cool end to a song that starts as a ballad but goes beyond that.

    Opening track The Valiant Denial is excellent. Also just what I want to hear from them. Hard to describe this one, but it has Glenn going in new directions for sure. The first thing that picks up your attention is the intro that sets the mood of the record straight away and then the beautiful and dreamy guitar melody that supports Glenn's singing (that reminds me of Stevie Wonder here). I like it! The orchestrations work really well on the album overall, and here's hoping that orchestral gig comes off. The strings really complement Glenn's voice beautifully! The best example of this might be the closing number The Divine, which has a similar vibe to Big Sky on Building the Machine. You're gonna love it for sure!

    One thing I can say is that many of the songs here sound like (funk) jams that started out in the studio, where each verse has the band grooving out, and then there's a space for Glenn to scream out the chorus (You Got Soul!!!) and then onto a new verse with more grooving. Many of the songs follow this pattern. As a result, some fans may miss Glenn's more conventional (but strong) songwriting on albums like The Way It Is and Feel. This is another way of doing things, and I guess everyone can decide for themselves what they prefer to hear from Glenn.

    These were some of the impressions that stood out for me after listening to it for the first time. It's way too early too pass final judgment. I have a feeling it might be a grower. I am now on my second listen and it's already sounding (a lot) better. Songs that didn't really do it for me on first listen now sound like real keepers.

    Overall, I am really impressed with the production and the fact that the band sounds so DAMN hot and inspired. I want to salute Glenn, Chad and JJ for deciding to groove so hard.

    It's funky Friday here for sure! :)


  • Thanks Daniel for posting your thoughts on the new album. David and I are simply blown away by this collection of songs and will no doubt be labeled as bias when we post our review :D So it's good to hear that others are feeling the same way about it :cool:

    Like you say, by the second listen everything comes together and even having NIWS (bonus track) included, doesn't detract from the new material.

    Anyway, will post our review in a few days :)

  • :clapper: Yes, Bring On DA FUNK.

    so light a candle in the window.......
    i will be coming home tonite

  • After repeated listens over the weekend I guess I can safely say they have improved on the Soul Mover formula with M4TD. The funk is harder and in order for you to get a better picture, there are several cuts here that I feel are better versions of High Road on Soul Mover. You will get a better picture of what I'm talking about when you hear it. The Glenn/Chad relationship seems so much more natural on M4TD than on Soul Mover. There's some beautiful acoustic stuff as well, that really highlights Glenn's voice (the aforementioned The Divine for example) and all in all, it's a release the guys can be really proud of. Everyone really performs well, and even though there's not so much of JJ in terms of soloing etc, his playing is nothing short of tasteful here. He really gives the songs what they need in terms of voicings etc. Great job JJ! The production really lets his work shine too. Chad is his usual solid self, and the drums really sound big. The drum breaks in The Valiant Denial are a delight to listen to, and they've got the Led Zep sound down for the ending of This is How I Feel, where John Frusciante (I originally thought it was JJ) gets a chance to shine on top of an extended Zep-like backing. Chad sounds like Bonham here.

    Ok, off to listen to it again...:)


  • What about Glenn then? Like Chad said, his vocals are really "in tune" with what each and every song craves for. He sounds excellent, and there's some lovely performances recorded here.

    His bass playing keeps on improving too. And I can't say enough good things about the organic and warm production that makes all of em sound so good.

  • David,

    ...............I think that you can put danielb in the:

    _____ No, I didn't like this GH CD
    _X___ Yes, I liked this GH CD



  • Thanks for the heads up David - will have to get the Japanese version pre-ordered now as well :)

    And to you to danielb, great to hear it's sounding so good, but makes the wait just that little bit more agonising :D

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