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The Attraction to All Things Uncertain

25 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 14, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

About the Artist

It all started with the painting on the cover of the album. From the serpentine, shadowy slither of the opening track, "Linoleum," through complex soundscapes that float slowly into a kind of light, not the light of day, but the filtered glint that leaks through yellowed windows. Grammy® Award-winning artist, producer, and remix virtuoso Chris Vrenna takes us on a journey through The Attraction to All Things Uncertain. A little background. Chris Vrenna has been a prominent figure in alternative music since he began hammering drums and programming beats with Nine Inch Nails. After leaving the band he soon became one of the hottest studio wizards in the business. His credits are vast: David Bowie, Smashing Pumpkins, Marilyn Manson, Green Day, The Wallflowers, Hole, Rob Zombie as well as Xzibit featuring Dr.Dre and Snoop Dogg. In a recent one-month period alone, he provided U2 with their "Elevation (Tomb Raider Mix)" for the summer blockbuster Tomb Raider, and provided remixes for Nelly Furtado, Weezer and Poe. In addition, he produced the recent album for Cold, whose CD is nearing gold status. Even coffee, Vrenna's admitted drug of choice, isn't enough to fuel this furious pace. Every now and then, he's gotta get out, take a walk, and prowl the art galleries of L.A. "I'm an art enthusiast," he admits. "So one day I went into this gallery and saw this painting of a sad little guy staring at an empty typewriter, with a cup of coffee on the table. His hands are folded. He's got these big glasses on. It practically brought me to tears. The expression on his face, and the feelings that the painting evoked were just amazing. I went back to that gallery every week for six months and just stared at that painting. Then, finally, a dear friend bought it for me – they said they couldn't let anyone else own it." The painting, created by Joe Sorren, now hangs in Vrenna's living room. Previously, it hung on his studio wall, an apparition whose silent, eloquent presence he used to inspire this latest project -- an inspiration so direct and demanding that Vrenna even borrowed from the painting's title, Elliott's Attraction to All Things Uncertain, for his album. In moments grabbed between freelance projects, or in long late-night stretches with only Elliott as his witness, Vrenna assembled a compelling sequence of pieces, bristling with electronic effects, swampy slide guitar, and stadium-sized slammin' beats that alternate with moments of intimate introspection. Each note plays a role in Vrenna's grand plan to tell the story of Elliott, a kind of lost Everyman, whose life, if everything works out, will lead not to triumph, but to a kind of resolution born from resignation and acceptance. To help guide the story along, Vrenna recruited three guest vocalists to add words at four critical junctures. Each received musical material, a reproduction of the painting, a summary of the plot, and instructions on what Vrenna hoped they would contribute. The results surpassed his expectations. On "Linoleum," the opening track and single featured on the EP, David Sylvian's haunting baritone brings us quickly to the heart of Elliott's fearful confusion. A woman's voice asks "Why?," which only emphasizes his uncertainties. Will Oldham's (of Palace Music and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy) contribution to the album on "Happy Child" is the turning point of Elliot's story. As the music shifts from a murky tread into a breathless suspension on "The Drive-bye," it's the only part of the album where no drums or percussion pulse. It then falls to Craig Wedren of Shudder to Think to deliver the two final vocal tracks. His voice stretches like a bird emerging from its egg on "Take Me Alive" and soars over a chorus of massed harmonies, unchained yet not quite free on "After All," singing "I do not fear this after all/Not quite so fearless after all." The 50-minute EP of "Linoleum," the first single from tweaker, features remixes of the David Sylvian track from Josh Wink, Wamdue Project, King Britt, Teargas & Plate Glass and Paul Leary of the Butthole Surfers, along with rare non-LP tracks. The 12" vinyl contains remixes from Josh Wink, Wamdue Project and King Britt. Recorded under the name tweaker, which Vrenna adopted when he began work on this project three years ago, The Attraction to All Things Uncertain will be at long last released this fall. And that's just the beginning: Look for American McGee's Alice, featuring his music for the popular PC game based on the darker side of Alice in Wonderland, later this year. This collaboration between Vrenna and game designer American McGee is a match made in virtual heaven. As the genius behind Doom and Quake, McGee possesses a dark and brilliant vision that perfectly complements Vrenna's sonic imagination. For Alice, Vrenna concocted a haunting score played mainly on toy instruments and sweetened with female choir, strings, and effects. It is not a game for the faint of heart, but then, neither is the music of Chris Vrenna. Have the courage to enter the world of Alice and The Attraction to All Things Uncertain -- you're guaranteed to come back safely, and with a decidedly different view of the world around you. Both albums will be out on Six Degrees Records.


Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 14, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Six Degrees
  • ASIN: B00005O7TV
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,667 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Adam on September 25, 2001
Format: Audio CD
At first I was somewhat skeptical, while I love Vrenna's remix work and am a big Six Degrees fan, I never would have guessed on a union between that particular artist and label. But my fears were quite unfounded. Certainly not techno, certainly not industrial, certainly not ambient or worldbeat, Tweaker's really made an album with a sound uniquely it's own while building upon foundations from many genres.
While many of the songs are quite different in structure, one of the commonalities across songs is something I can only call "thickness". Each song has alot of things going on, and even the simple songs have multiple layers of sound, insturments moving in and out of the mix. Of course, this being Vrenna, the percussion (both live and programmed) throughout is wonderfully emotive, complex, and excellent. But what makes this album amazing for me is that instead of being a percussive-dominant album, the amazing rhythm work is merely one part of the collage, and the guitars, vocals, samples, and programming create a really addictive brew, somehow both challenging and hook-laden at the same time.
The songs with guest vocalists feel like the most "traditional" songs on the disc (Craig Wedren's voice is just stellar on his two tracks), and while they are all excellent, I feel it's in the insturmentals where this disc really shines. "Swamp" rocks out like a great NIN insturmental with nice crunchy guitar and drum licks, while "Turned" could be mistaken for a spaced-out Orb tune with layers of reverb and chirping birds. "Drive-Bye" would be as at home on 4AD as Six Degrees, while "Microsize Boy" is a wonderful slice of vocoder and punchy drums.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Captain Planet on August 20, 2003
Format: Audio CD
to start off, yes, christ vrenna was the drummer for NIN, and no, this cd does not sound like "the downward spiral" or "broken." it is a completely different sound. but that is probably to be expected, seeing as how when one does one's own solo project they can do whatever they please. it may not sound like NIN, but you can here a hint of influence in it. very electronic, featuring the voices of many other persons, other than himself. NIN is one of my favorite bands, and so is tweaker. i recommend that all of you buy this cd if you enjoy good music, which this most certainly is. it is always in my cd player. just check it out, you'll be happy
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mike on October 16, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Well...being a big NIN fan i picked up Chris Vrenna's solo full length in hopes for some good music during the usual Trent Reznor four year drought. It is a good album, a little too electronic for my tastes in some parts, but it is growing on me. Definately far surpasses anything mtv plays these days. Original, organic blend of rock/electronic type stuff. Not a dissapointment at all. I'd recomend this to anyone who is in the modd for something different and atmospheric. Good music will always prevail...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Max on April 1, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I've found myself listening to TATATU a lot recently, gearing up in anticipation for Tweaker's upcoming second album, "2 a.m. Wakeup Call". This type of music is definitely not for everyone, but for those who decide to venture in, they won't be disappointed. This album is intended to be listened to on a rainy day, when you have plenty of time to just relax, have a few cups of coffee, and possibly just stare out a window or outside a patio into the bleak overcast.
On the 4 vocal tracks, the guest appearances by David Sylvian, Will Oldham, and Craig Wedren are all exceptionally well done, and fit nicely. The lyrics sung on "Microsize Boy" are entirely mechanic and go excellent with the mood at this point of the album. After this track, the pace slows down significantly, almost as if to reflect on the previous 9 tracks, most of which all pulse with intense drum beats and synths. It picks back up again for the final two tracks, "After All" and "Come Play".
All in all, a 4/5 star performance for me, with only a few minor weak points throughout the entire album, but easily forgivable ones at that. You really need to listen for yourself to understand the concept. After hearing the first released track, "Ruby", off the second Tweaker album, there is no doubt in my mind it will go above and beyond what TATATU did. Here, Vrenna was only scratching the surface...
Standout Tracks: Linoleum, Years From Now, Swamp, The Drive-bye, Take Me Alive, Microsize Boy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "richlatta" on November 27, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This compelling little record is mostly instrumental electronic music, although Vrenna does incorporate guitars and other instruments. It is appropriately trippy, sometimes rocking out quite a bit. The songs with vocals do stand out for obvious reasons (character, good lyrical content), especially the opener "Linoleum" with ghostly vocals by David Sylvian spiked with a roaring guitar. There's a song called "Microsize Boy" which employs a vocoder that's a lot of fun. This album is great for road trips.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 5, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I received this cd for christmas, and since then it has become one of my favorite cds. Each track is distinct and fascinating, with an often quirky sense of humor (track 9)as well as an extremely dark feel (track 5). The songs seem to pulse and breathe, and it is hard not to be moved by them. All in all an excellent cd.
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The Attraction to All Things Uncertain
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