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Untying the Not

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Audio CD, September 23, 2003
"Please retry"
$9.03 $3.36
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Wake Up 5:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Sirens 5:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Looking Glass 5:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Orion's Belt 2:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Mountain Girl 4:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
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 

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“The coolest part of this album is that, in the end, it really sounds like us, maybe more so than any of the other albums that we’ve done.” – Bill Nershi, The String Cheese Incident

For a band like The String Cheese Incident, it’s odd to think that 20 years into a remarkable career, their ninth album - and first studio album in nine years - would really ... Read more in Amazon's String Cheese Incident Store

Visit Amazon's String Cheese Incident Store
for 144 albums, 5 photos, videos, discussions, and more.

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Untying the Not + Outside Inside + One Step Closer
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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: #136,465 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


"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

Customer Reviews

The SCI are fun, inventive, and solid musicians.
William P. Visser
I've been waiting a while for this album to come out, and I must say, at first listen, I fell in love.
Scott Raeihle
At times it seems like too much of a change in direction.
John Cummings

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 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 7 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 7 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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5 of 5 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 the 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 they tend to make and lose fans with each new album, it seems: 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 really 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas L. Barlow on October 20, 2003
Format: Audio CD
-There are two types of Cheese fans in the world; those who know of their music, and those who live their music. If you do not fall into either category, then sadly there is a good chance you will not like this album. This is an album for devoted fans that are familiar with both previous studio albums, and the magic that occurs in the audience at a show. With the exception of "Stand Up" and "Looking Glass," one will find little similarities to the Cheese they know and love.
-If you enjoy or at least appreciate Phish's "Round Room," you will certainly feel many of the same things about this album. As with "Round Room", this album was created in a very short amount of time, recording many songs on the first take. This rough approach to the studio album is certainly revolutionary, but poses the question: WHY? The answer lies within in the band. More so than the band's thousands of devoted fans, this album is for the band itself. Many raw emotions and references to real life experiences can be found in several tracks. I would advise all listeners to explore the album's section on, as it explains the motivation for writing each track.
-Ever since they released "A String Cheese Incident" in 1997, Cheese has been a live band. The extreme energy of their live shows is responsible for 99% of their success. As with other jam bands, on any particular night, Cheese composes a unique set list from a vast array of songs. Generally, these are made up of; cover songs, traditional songs, songs written while on the road, and songs from STUDIO ALBUMS. Adding 12 new songs to the mix, creates 12 new possibilities in concert, and the potential to create something live that was never intended or expected in the studio - and that's what live music is all about.
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