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Glisten


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gListen
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 24, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bar/None Records
  • ASIN: B0002IQGN0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,351,665 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Calculating Flower
2. No Place I've Ever Been
3. Stretch
4. Taste Of Crow
5. Levitate
6. End Of The Year
7. One Step Down
8. Sometimes You Know
9. Sleep Is A Sacrament
10. Stretch (Light Return)
11. I Feel Love

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Songs from a Random House is one of those unclassifiable bands that either astound a selective few and then vanish without a trace or else create an entirely new genre that utterly confounds potential imitators. The unusual instrumental forces, which include two ukeleles, a viola, a chord organ, acoustic bass, and trap drums, are only half the tale. Bandleader Steven Swartz's songs have a chilled-out, sophisticated, downtown jazzy melodic sense that might remind some listeners of Steely Dan minus the unctuousness. There are also hints of 20th-century classical dissonance, assorted string-driven world music traditions, late-night café torchers and be-bop. Swartz's lyrics are full of sly humor, ironic puns, blistering insights, and surreal epiphanies--the fallout of minutely observed living amid chaos. But that isn't to say the group is incapable of getting down--the album closes with a drone-laced, propulsive, droll cover of Donna Summer's louche disco hit, "I Feel Love." --Christina Roden

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Winn on December 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD
In a perfect world this album would wind up near the top of most end-of-the-year critics polls, because gListen is easily one of the best albums of 2004. SFARH manage the neat trick of stretching the boundaries of avant-pop while remaining completely listener-friendly. Their unorthodox lineup features viola, lap steel guitar, Magnus chord organ (!) and, most prominently, two ukuleles (if you are thinking Don Ho, think again: the ukulele is a completely different instrument when plugged in, routed through a fuzz box and kicked up to 11--see the sample from Taste of Crow). It takes a couple of listens, but this cd is filled with tunes that stick in your head and images that keep floating to the front of your mind long after you've taken the disc out of the player. The carefully crafted lyrics could easily be lifted from the liner notes, plopped between two covers, and published as a poetry chapbook. Oh yeah, also, this album RAWKS. And you can dance to it. Buy gListen and help make the world a better place.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam on December 28, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Songs from a Random House is an exciting group.There is a lot of variety in their music, creating moods with various textures,styles and rhythms.There is a notable jazz influence in many of the selections.I especially like stretch which has a fusion sound like Mahavishnu Orchestra.
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Format: Audio CD
Saw this band live Friday and have to say it was NOT what I expected - took me completely by surprise. Frankly I was expecting the usual bar band rock-blues type of thing, but this blew me away. It was totally engaging. I bought a CD from the band after the show and on my I-pod I'm enjoying it even more with repeated exposure. It's not every day you find a really fresh approach... This band's sound is out there but it takes everybody along for the eccentric hayride. A great listen.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Larry D on December 20, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I might as well caveat this right up front: Songs From a Random House's music isn't all that easy to wrap your arms around. It's layered and literate and a bit artsy, and oh yes: they play ukuleles. So if your usual meat is along the lines of Justin Timberlake, gListen may not be for you. But if you like a nice big slice of Roxy Music or Talking Heads now and then, give gListen a listen. And then another listen: you may not be humming the songs after the first time through, but not everybody can be Britney Spears (thank God). It might help to start with the Donna Summer cover (just for something familiar), then start the CD at the beginning. A couple of days later, you might just find yourself absently humming "A Taste of Crow".
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