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Also | Music Belongs In The Background

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Rock: Modern Rock Pop: British Pop Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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Music Belongs In The Background

by Also

Dark and ethereal at times and wall-of-sound rock and roll at others. Conrad takes on commanding subject matter and sings powerfully. The rhythm section of Stephenson and Zelen is tight and driving with fine musicianship and artful technicality.
Genre: Rock: Modern Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Love You
3:14 $0.99
2. So Long
3:21 $0.99
3. Call It Funny
4:08 $0.99
4. By Now You Should Know
4:20 $0.99
5. True
3:26 $0.99
6. Music Belongs in the Background
3:58 $0.99
7. Wilshire Boulevard
4:30 $0.99
8. Aim High
4:23 $0.99
9. Mayfly
4:17 $0.99
10. Unloaded
4:33 $0.99
11. Frost
2:27 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Music Belongs in the Background,” Also’s sophomore full-length release, took nearly three-years in the making and was quite a labor of love. With the help of gifted producer Warren Riker (3 Grammy awards, the Fugees, Lauryn Hill, & Santana) the album boasts huge soundscapes. Dark and ethereal at times and wall-of-sound rock and roll at others. The album exhibits fine musicianship and artful technicality. The team-style songwriting of the band is evident and the music ranges a broad array of influences. Conrad’s lyrics are not for the feint-hearted. He takes on commanding subject matter and sings powerfully. The rhythm section of Stephenson and Zelen is tight and driving. The album is broad stylistically and emotionally, but maintains a consistent feel throughout that is very much Also’s own sound. “Music Belongs in the Background” is a fine work of art by a group of three talented and tenacious people. You won’t listen just once.



to write a review

Lena Z.

L.A. melancholy rock
I've listened to "Music Belongs In The Background" a few times and the more often I listen to it the more I love it: the album is like a good book or a great movie. "I Love You" already gives the album an epic start, while the last track "Frost" reminds me of David Lynch landscapes. The ALSO threesome knows how to rock; at times their sound is smooth, at times full of energy, diversified from spheric to jazzy atmospheres.
Though every song is different, the tracks seems to be well-matched to create an integral whole, but what all songs have in common is an uplifting musical frame with bittersweet and ironic lyrics. You can clearly hear that the Smiths are an influence, but considering that Morrissey had to bear gray English skies and ALSO live in the always sunny city of Los Angeles it appears that singer and lyricist Conrad seems to be of an even more cynical nature. All in all "Music Belongs In The Background" is a great album, but no matter if you listen to it on your i-pod in the subway, in your car or at home listen to it loudly, TURN UP YOUR SPEAKERS, because Conrad's voice is amazing!
But still I think it's a shame that those guys are still unsigned, especially if you compare them to bands like The National, Death Cab For Cutie or Snow Patrol, ALSO singer Drew Conrad dwarfs those band's vocalists by skill.


Artistically determined and headstrong in versatility: From a scream to a whispe
Pushing play this time, that vibrant voice, so dear to me, lures you in over a recurring, secretive guitar riff. Softly it echoes in question “shall we wait, until our last day?” - as all of sudden the band sets in like a rolling thunder, joins in mutually “to say I love you - shall we wait? NO WAY!” All worries gone, the power and density of the music embosoms hesitant love. While comparisons to Jeff Buckley have become buzzwords: this track legitimates them in its roaring, mesmerizing quality. When opener “I Love You” could be, at a first glimpse, nothing but another tacky statement, it’s the code upon which ALSO assert forcefully their persistence. This explosive confession is the appetizer of a rich and exuberant 11-course meal, for what the witty Los Angeles rock trio serves up on their 2nd full length album is no slight fare, and yet there’s an ample choice of delicacy: Music belongs in the background – no pun intended. Right!
Having faced the highs and lows of an unsigned band in the underground, sometimes sadly rather off-scene, Also have found their lucky strike in this piece of musical work, which must be tightly linked to the persona of Grammy award-winning sound magician Warren Riker who makes the difference to previous recordings. Masterly, he found the right tubes and hit the right buttons to finally bring their emotive hymns to ultimate brilliance. Gone are the days where the ingenuities of certain song parts and immaculate musicianship were conjectured behind laconic lo-fi charms to the uninitiated: MBitB is forward, brisk and poignant from the very second. Crystal-clear, at times bashing drumming is omnipresent, fine-tuned pedal particularities on guitars and their warm distortions frame up the modern rock body structure for an overall bold display of artistic self-will to fuse.
This is affirmed by experiments to dissipate a catchy pop melody by setting a psychedelic middle part on purpose or succumb to extensive jazz/art rock debaucheries on the title track. Post-rock noise on the plaintive “By Now You Should Know Now” is alternated by life-affirming appeals to evanescent lightness of being in “(Fly Like A) Mayfly”. Nearly forgotten lo-fi favorites from their first home-recorded EP found their way as embellished versions on this album, too. The catchy admonishing anti-hymn “Call It Funny” states that “in this drive-thru world of ours the thought alone sets one apart”, while the speedy counter-beat and organ-laden bewilderment of “Unloaded” ramps and rages about depression in a way Lou Reed could take pleasure in. Is it blatant to say that “Aim High” could very well be on Radiohead’s OK Computer, with the difference that suspense is created by a three-piece on a tight budget? I’d dare to disagree.
Also haven’t lost one bit of their ability to create great songs with deep and often inscrutable topics about disillusion, weariness or disheartened virtues between humans – but this range is illuminated by ridding hopefulness, such as in the powerful and cathartic “So Long”(!) or “Wilshire Blvd”, where “everything has changed” and captious lyricist Conrad utters an unthinkably light-footed “it’s good yeah”, sung in a conjuring and fervent way. The multifaceted excursion fades in a whispering self-admission of “joys to wake” along with its ending title “Frost”, contrary to the opening track, at the band’s most subtle side.
In the end you turn around the CD, with its memorably tasty artwork by NYC-based illustrator Kim Rosen, to realize that this is still self-funded and yet self-released. It’s on the dice that you haven’t heard of this band so far, since they can hardly be labelled into anything for their musical versatility, nevertheless a faithful and growing internet fan-base won’t discourage, nor will those sons of guns here. In a time cluttered with subcategories and its followers disputing the incongruous, it feels good to have an alternative rock band like Also. With “Music Belongs in the Background” they delivered both, a clear yet fuzzy record, and inevitably have outdone themselves.
What makes Also hip is the unexpected, to not jump on the bandwagon of what should be done, which eludes classification. In the end, they remain my witty, self-unfolding and headstrong rockers slipping and switching beneath associative boundaries, what those may be shall remain in the ear of the beholder.

Lora G.

Cherished CD From Start To Finish!
Well, I think The Above Review Says it All...Treat Yourself To This CD, I Can Promise You Will Not Have Any Regrets. Love The New Tracks True, Wilshire Boulevard, Aim High, MayFly....Listen For Yourself....The Music Says It All!!! A New Favorite In My Record Collection!