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Untying the Not


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Audio CD, September 23, 2003
"Please retry"
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Review

"A brilliant album that will convert the uninitiated" -- 20th Century Guitar

"A spry mix not heard since the heyday of Pink Floyd. It's the kind of album that's rarely made..." -- Austin Chronicle

"An astounding and complex studio masterpiece." -- Music Today

"Four Stars...inventive and ambitious." -- Blender

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

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Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Wake Up 5:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Sirens 5:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
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listen  4. Orion's Belt 2:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
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listen  6. Lonesome Road Blues 1:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Elijah 2:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Valley of the Jig 4:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Tinder Box 4:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Just Passin' Through 4:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Who Am I? 4:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Time Alive 5:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. On My Way 3:02$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 23, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sci Fidelity Records
  • ASIN: B0000C9JCY
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,302 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 20, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The nice thing about this album is that it truly is an "album." Unlike much of today's single driven music where artists focus on that one hit song, "Untying the Not" is a cohesive whole where each song flows into the next. The themes of the album are experimentation and exploration and SCI has definitely done that in regards to the music as well. This album may sound a bit strange at first to long time fans, but it shows growth and a willingness to transcend the "been there, done that". I've been a fan for several years now and was drawn to them originally because of the ease with which they blur and mix genres of music. This album does that in ways that I haven't heard before. While the bluegrass is sadly absent from this release, I appreciate their attempt at branching out. For SCI fans "Untying the Not" is worth checking out. If you are new to SCI and looking for a first album I would probably steer you to some of their older live stuff like "Carnival '99" or "A String Cheese Incident" to get a feel for the band first. All in all: a solid studio release from a very talented group of musicians.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ed Luhrs on July 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I'm not particularly concerned with whether this album is better or worse than SCI's other studio releases. It certainly isn't like a live show. What I find especially strong here are the lyrics. They're meaningful - existential, spiritual, and often motivational.
The music itself moves from straightforward beats to wild techno stuff that I haven't heard the band do before. The first few times I listened I thought some songs were more interesting than others. Now the ones I thought were so-so are the ones that mean the most to me. The music strongly supports the themes of the songs - took a while for me to get it. In one song, a young lady sensually suggests three inspirational activities "...breathing, dancing ...creative ecstasy." I think this sums up the overall feel of the central parts the album, which are like a kaleidoscope of individual tunes that flow into one another.
This has turned into an album I can listen to straight through without hitting the skip button. Even if it isn't perfect on all counts, it's 4 1/2 stars to me, and I'll round it up to 5 because I like the overall concept. Untying the Not definitely has its own kind of beauty, because it makes a strong statement about living and enjoying life while we're here.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Barry L. Wallace on September 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
(Point of Clarification - This review was actually posted by my son when he was living with me and going to college.)

Amazing. SCI continually raises the bar for what I consider to be truly talented musicianship. It is fairly well known that SCI can play with the best of them live, but until this album their studio work was usually just a reflection of what the band can do live. However, this release proves that these guys are truly in a league of their own when it comes to versatility and creativity. This disc is a must have for anyone who is a fan of well developed, thought provoking music. SCI is a breath of fresh air from the seemingly ever-growing population of cookie cutter bands that are plaguing today's music industry. Keep up the good work boys. You have gained a fan for life in me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Cummings on January 31, 2005
Format: Audio CD
It's certainly interesting, totally different from anything String Cheese has done before. At times it seems like too much of a change in direction. Nevertheless, there are some good songs on here, but also a lot of stuff that sounds out of place and pointless.

The overall sound feels like a melting pot of different stuff that has been so mixed up it's hard to tell where everything came from. Fans of the band's live work will probably not like this too much, since there is virtually no jamming. There are some interesting instrumental songs in the middle of the album, but they are definitely not jams and they don't really show String Cheese's excellent musicianship, which is kind of a bummer. Many times it's hard to tell what instruments are doing what. I'm not really sure if this a good sign or not, but it gives the album a unified feel, while still having a wide variety of styles. If you've neve heard the String Cheese Incident before, stay away from this album for now because it's a bad representation of what the band sounds like.

The four songs that were cut "These Waves" "Emma's Dream" "Dirk" and the full version of "The Lonesome Road Blues" are actually better than most of the songs that made it on to the final album and it's kind of a mystery why they didn't make it. This is a fairly short album and there was definitely room for them.

This album takes some getting used to, but it's not bad, just very different. Most String Cheese fans will find it unsettling.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By spiral_mind on March 16, 2004
Format: Audio CD
A remarkable group, this String Cheese Incident. They play around with everything from rock and jazz to Latin, bluegrass, psychedelia, pop and reggae. They have no electric guitar - that slot's filled by acoustic/electric mandolin and violin instead. Their occasional live covers range from John Coltrane to Stevie Wonder, Nirvana, Queen, Jimi Hendrix and Talking Heads. So needless to say, they're not your average jam band. (And if the phrase 'jam band' scares you, rest assured that these guys easily avoid the endless noodling & soloing that's given talented improvising groups a bad name in some circles.)

And it seems they tend to make and lose fans with each new album: just when we get used to whatever new mix of ingredients they've whipped up on the last one, they change all the rules. With UtN they've made the most radical changes yet. The tunes are more often slow and somewhat shadowy (and the lyrics a little more somber) than what's come before. They explored the possibilities of utilizing the studio this time around rather than making a straightforward representation of their energetic live sound. Transitions between tracks float by in a haze of odd noises and voice snippets floating in the ether. The flow of the album is split into thirds; two sets of rock-SCI-style tunes sandwich a string of four accomplished instrumentals in the middle (with a brief a-capella bluegrass interlude squeezed in as well).

The instrumentals, more than anything else, show what a change of pace this disc is for the SCI. "Orion's Belt" and "Elijah" are gorgeous pieces of half-psychedelia burnished with some lovely sax work, like Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon taken to a new planet.
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