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Below the Branches

7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 7, 2006
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$11.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Below the Branches + To Dreamers + Circular Sounds
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

San Francisco home-recording multi-instrumentalist Stoltz promoted and distributed his last album, ("2001's "Antique Glow") himself. It garnered considerable attention and praise, such as being ranked #24 in MOJO's "40 Best Albums Of 2004", which was described as "a time capsule only recently discovered...a jamboree grab-bag of delights filled with everything from psychedelic folk and cosmic troubadour pop to garage rock and lysergic R&B...one of the year's major finds." "Below The Branches" picks up where the last album left off, combining psych rock, folk, blues, and pop in its thirteen tracks, and exploring new, piano-driven directions as well. Improvisational pop, alchemically blending influences with results that are both old and new.

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Of all the lonely singer-songwriters making late night albums in their bedrooms, San Francisco's Kelley Stoltz does the best job convincing you that he built a time machine on the side and brought back odd members of the Beach Boys, Wings and Pink Floyd to help him out with his. On his third release, the follow-up to 2001's beloved Antique Glow, it sounds like he has crammed a horn section next to his nightstand and strings in the closet. Songs like "Wave Goodbye" and "Memory Collector" float on barreling piano melodies and comfortably worn-in grooves. Stoltz's voice, meanwhile, is soft and unobtrusive, coming into view only when a track needs that knockout punch--like halfway through the psychedelic "Summer's Easy Feeling." Below The Branches is the kind of album that makes you keep reaching for the CD cover with a magnifying glass: "Does that really say ©2006, because it feels more like 1976?" I mean, who these days, sings things like, "I remember your childhood hair, floating wild at the county fair"? Well, okay, except the guy from Nickelback. --Aidin Vaziri


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Wave Goodbye 3:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Little Lords 3:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Ever Thought of Coming Back 2:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Words 3:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Mystery 2:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Summer's Easy Feeling 2:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Memory Collector 2:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Birdies Singing 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. The Rabbit Hugged the Hound 2:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. The Sun Comes Through 4:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Winter Girl 3:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Prank Calls 2:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. No World Like the World 2:06$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 7, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sub Pop
  • ASIN: B000CQKY1C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,320 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Zombie Walker on March 11, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Much has been written about how Stoltz's music is a blend of his influences. Many have seen this as an homage, a few detractors have said that Stoltz's music sounds great but lacks the depth of the artists he draw from. Let's think about this for a moment, here's an artist who has just released his third album, that he recorded largely on his own, and people are complaining that it does not compare with albums like LOADED or PET SOUNDS or ABBEY ROAD or THE VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY. Of course it does not compare to those albums. NOTHING compares to those albums!

I find this album to be incredibly moving, the happy-go-lucky lyrics sound like they come from a man who has been through the wringer and decided to say "f**k it, I'd rather be happy." The old-timey saloon piano of the song Prank Calls, sums it up just great: Life is going just great but there's always going to be the annoyances of and reminders of the rough times of days gone by, which come in the form of "prank calls" from "an old lover, who ain't gettin' none." the fact that the whole song has a throwaway feel, is all the more impactful. The same goes for The Rabbit Hugged the Hound, not so much an animal rights song nor is it an obvious anti-war song, hell it may be both, but Stoltz plays it off with just the right balance of pathos and wit that makes it feel like an interpretation of a 1950s Warner Brothers cartoon.

Then there's the beautfiul centerpieces of the album, Words which while definitely Velvet Underground influenced, has more heart and emotion than anything Lou Reed has ever conjured from that cold black heart of his and the absolutely gorgeous Summer's Easy Feeling which conjures exactly what the title implies.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Erica Sunshine on February 8, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I really liked Antique Glow- it was so pretty and dreamy and gorgeous- but this new one is AMAZING. I just got it, but I'm totally overwhelmed by it. This record has so much in it, that I can't even figure it out yet- its got fantastic songs, shimmering/scary/beautiful sounds, crazy lyrics and just overall fascination. What I like best about it is how the songwriting on it is classic- like totally put together perfectly, scientifically, but the sounds on it, and the sudden breaks are just insane- its like a perfect fusion, like psychocandy or something (but it doesn't sound like psychocandy- its totally its own record.)
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By DW on March 28, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Kelley Stoltz' Below The Branches is a mini-masterpiece. It's easily his best recording to date. Each song is memorable and charming. Here we have Brian Wilson meets Syd Barrett meets Andy Partridge. The production is decidedly low-tech with piano, Mellotron and dry bass and dry drums. The Memory Collector, Wave Goodbye, The Rabbit Hugged The Hound and Prank Calls are all examples of genius.

This is not classical music and is more about feel than technical brilliance.

[DW]
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Awesome work. Can't believe this is by the same artist who released Double Exposure this year. Very different style. Each song is unique.
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