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Beneath Waves


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Audio CD, January 24, 2006
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 24, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: K. Records
  • ASIN: B000CQQHN6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #696,940 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Craig Clarke VINE VOICE on February 2, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I was definitely surprised when I learned that singer-songwriter Karl Blau had never recorded a solo album for K Records prior to his latest release, Beneath Waves. This is because I have felt his presence on so many other artists' releases. Originally, I was introduced to his low-key bass playing with Bret Lunsford (a founding member of the highly influential Beat Happening on vocals and guitar) and Phil Elverum (drums, of course) in their band D+.

His influence has also been greatly felt on all of Elverum's work as The Microphones. Blau played on The Glow, Pt. 2 and there is even a song called "Karl Blau" on its predecessor, It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water, an album that Blau himself recently rerecorded for his KELP! Monthly subscription series (showing that influence goes both ways). With those, and his guest appearances on albums from Little Wings (Wonderue) and Mirah (Advisory Committee), it just feels like he's been hanging around Dub Narcotic Studios forever.

However, research tells me that his previous solo albums (the last of which was 2001's Clothes Your I's) have all been released on D+ bandmate Lunsford's Knw-Yr-Own label out of Anacortes (the other thriving Washington music mecca). In any case, Blau's newest musical expression, Beneath Waves, is out now on K, and it's mostly brilliant. It seems to have taken Blau quite a long time to put together this album (four years, if my math is correct), but it has been more than worth the wait.

Beneath Waves begins audaciously with its two longest tracks, the seven-and-a-half-minute "Crashing Waves" and the nearly-six-minute "My Johnny." Both are impressive soundscapes involving many varied instruments and multiple melodies.
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By Dunstan Skinner on September 30, 2009
Format: Audio CD
My wife, Linda, and I love this album! True, the others are great; "Clothes yr Eyes" is arguably the best; "Dance Positive" really bumps, and might be Linda's secret fave, showcasing Bret Lunsford's deep and uplifting lyrics throughout. Karl Blau doesn't seem to need that kind of support, however, as his own songwriting is unusually strong. But the man is prolific, and he shares the love.

"Nature's Got Away," and "Am" came out virtually the same time, and they are beginning to sink in, containing some marvellous surprises, especially "Nature's Got Away." "Am" is full of morning songs, and uses poems by A.A. Milne (of Winnie the Pooh fame) as lyrics on many of the tracks. Note the word games in both titles. We even found a CD of the elusive and celebrated "Shell Collection," raw and beautiful, but perhaps not fully matured.

But to return to "Beneath Waves"...this is the one chocked with songs we know best. Every time I hear this disc I feel as though I'm listening to music made in someone's house around the block. --Someone who knows what he's doing, but just recording for folks that drink coffee at the same neighborhood bakery.

So Karl, when are you going to drop by for fettuccine? Do you eat seafood? You're always welcome any time you're in Olympia. Bring the kids, if you like; we have two--We're in the book.

Dunstan Skinner
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