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Glass Wave

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 23, 2010
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 23, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CD BABY.COM/INDYS
  • ASIN: B003HGKCDY
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #640,538 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By N. Dale on December 12, 2010
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
A couple of years back I got hooked on Stanford professor Robert Harrison's podcast series, "Entitled Opinions" which began with an old Enigma track, "Silence Must Be Heard". Then he changed the theme song to a new and voluptuous even more enigmatic song fragment last year and I kept trying to use the lyrics to find out what it was - unsuccessfully. Turns out that it's "Echo" from the album "Glass wave" and I was dumbstruck to realize it was Harrison himself and his show's producer, Christy Wampole along with Harrison's brother (a UCLA professor) and several other learned folks who were "Glass Wave." Now before anybody hits the 'get me out of here" button, fearing that this album is a bunch of pointy-heads pontificating to the background of second rate music, hold on. Indeed, hold on to your armrests, because this is an Indie tour de force effortlessly and lyrically waiting to carry you across centuries of literature, not only adapting famous and not so famous legends and stories but using music and fascinatingly contemporary lingo to bring out essences of such literature that you'd never have got from just reading them. Harrison and his colleagues have used music to go inside meanings in a way that the most avant-garde literary critics could not begin to do...and yet they have also laid down 10 diverse but consistently interesting songs. Wampole has an unforced earthiness in her delivery that matches dozens of bluesy-folk singers, sometimes reminding me of Joplin or at least how Joplin might have sounded had she smoked fewer joints. Harrison is no slouch on the guitar both in creativity and delivery. This album should appeal to music-lovers who demand depth and to literature lovers who want a whole new window on the meanings of classic tales from Homer to Shakespeare to Poe to Melville to Freud. More Glass, more!
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Format: Audio CD
Robert Pogue Harrison, a Stanford Professor who hosts a popular weekly radio show from the campus called "Entitled Opinions on Life and Literature", is the quintessential Renaissance Man. Well versed in Greek and Roman antiquity, Romance languages, medieval poetry, Dante, philosophy, art, poetry, modern novels and a range of many other subjects (including gardens and forests on which he has authored several books), Bob's passions bubble over effusively in his broadcasts. His focus can range from Aristotle to Nabokov, from Beethoven to Jimi Hendrix. The format of each show opens with a haunting melody entitled "Echo" from his "lit-rock" band the Glass Wave, followed by a short station identificaton culminating in a soliliquoy about the subject he and his guest interviewee that day intend to examine. It is in these passionate introductory sermons that Harrison shines brightest, unleashing a string of poignant and profound observations, punctuated with references to and quotes from the world's great thinkers plus an occasional sprinkling of Latin, Italian or French. When it comes to live radio verbal riffs, Harrison's verbal chops are As Bold As Love, unmatched and engaging.
With the launch of the Glass Wave CD, Harrison has assembled a crew of fellow academics (including his brother Tom, a professor from UCLA) to explore some the Western World's greatest literary and philosphical subjects. Hence, the term "lit-rock". Has anyone ever attempted this? I recall Cream's "Tales of Brave Ulysses" on the Disraeli Gears LP years ago, but Eric Clapton's heavy wah-wah drowns out Jack Bruce's lyrics about the "sirens sweetly singing". Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick" was an instrumental. Glass Wave goes deeper.
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