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Mutual Admiration Society

January 1, 2006 | Format: MP3
Also available in CD Format
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By Greg Carpenter on July 19, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I have to agree with a previous reviewer who said that the mix on this CD is a major detractor from enjoying the performances fully. Glen's vocals, while very good, are way to high in the mix. It is very hard to discern what instruments are being played at times, and some of the instruments are just so low in the mix, they might as well have been left off. (i.e. There is organ on the album, but you would be hard pressed to hear it.)
The harmony vocals on the album are also mixed too low. Both Toad and Nickel Creek have trademark harmony vocals, and it's a shame that this element was under-used and mixed too low. Also, there should have been a duo between Glen and Sarah. This should have been a no-brainer, and while were on the sujbect of vocals, Sarah should have sung "Trouble" as Glen had to strain a little on that one.
Also, the overall album is too slow. Notice, I'm not using the word "mellow." The tempos are all slow, even the mid-tempo tracks are too slow (all 3 of them). It's as if every member of the band took a valium before recording, or if they were using a click track (since there is no drummer), the person setting up the click track popped a valium. While Nickel Creek can get away with not having a drummer due to the percussive manner in which they play their instruments, there is a lot of guitar strumming on this album, and it's slow strumming a lot of the time. They need to hire a drummer or let Chris Thile dictate the pace. The little bit of hand percussion on the album just doesn't cut it.
Finally, this album was recorded 3 years ago, and the relatively young members of NC have matured by leaps and bounds. I'm sure that if this is not a one-off project, the next MAS album will be a true collaboration.
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Format: Audio CD
On first listen of this album those of us that are "creekheads" that are expecting the excitement simliar to the first time we listened to "This Side" will be sorely dissapointed. Please keep in mind though that this is not a nickelcreek album! Mutual Admiration Society (MAS) is the blended of artists that before their respective individual success admired one another. Those of you who have seen glenn or creek in person will be happy with the studio version of "decompsing whale song" (live concert title - Last track - renamed) and "Trouble" (with Drums .... YEAH!) Newbies include "Sake of the world" and "Be Careful".

I beg that before you toss this cd aside give it a full listen twice (which will take you all of an hour and a half) during the second time around you will here the true hybrid of amazing talents! FYI - Don't be so fast to stop the cd at the end you never know when these guys will surprise you with a tiny tasty morsel of goodness!
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
... but unfortunately you can't hear it. This CD is just not mixed well. Glen Phillips' voice, while great, drowns out everything else on the album. I have to strain to hear the instrumentation on the excellent audio equipment in my home, and you can absolutely forget about hearing any of it in your car. In order to keep Glen's voice at a reasonable volume, the rest of it becomes inaudible. Its a horrible shame because I can tell that underneath there is an absolutely beautiful album, and I'm sure they will be excellent on tour this summer, but I can't justify recommending this CD. Even in the sections in which Glen isn't singing, there is far too much of a gap in volume between the different instruments for them to blend effectively.
Added to these complaints is the length of the album, 41 minutes and 7 seconds. I've gone through half of it already while writing this review.
I am a huge fan of both Nickel Creek and Glen Phillips. I had the highest of hopes for this album. But from the sounds of it, they should have spent more than 6 days recording it.
Comment 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
I'm in love with this CD. True, it's not Nickel Creek and it's not Toad. It's not your typical solo Glen either. It's also true that the production value is not the best. The mix does seem a bit off, but THE SONGS! These are amazing and varied songs. Every song is melodic, unique, thoughtful and emotional. Glen is terrific at conveying emotion with his voice, and the beautiful and unique (there's that word again) sounds that Nickel Creek contribute are a perfect complement. I can't stop listening. More, please!
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Format: Audio CD
Glen Phillips never disappoints. Nickel Creek has yet to disappoint. Put them together and what do you get? You get a simple and wonderful collaboration of original songs and covers performed by four outstanding musicians in the industry today. When I first heard Glen Phillips he was with Toad the Wet Sprocket. I was immediately taken in by his excellent songwriting, in particular his incredibly deep and grammatically fascinating lyrics. When you put this God given talent together with the Fab 3 of Nickel Creek you get some of the freshest sounding music out there today. This does not mark the first time any of these four individuals have collaborated however. If you like this don't miss Sean Watkins solo project, titled "Let It Fall". Glen sings the title track and it is absolutely mesmerizing. Toad fans beware as this is nothing like Toad. It is much more in line with Glen's first solo project "Abulum". Chris Thile of Nickel Creek may be the best musician of the bunch. His incredible ability with the mandolin is something to cherish. Sean and Sara Watkins are certainly no slouches either. The only downside is the production value. This was recorded in 6 days in Glen's garage and it does not have the polished sound you might expect, but it does not disappoint. These four musicians have created a really fresh sound and I hope this is not their last effort together. The musicianship and creativity is outstanding and should not be missed.
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