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Three Cheers For The Broken-Hearted Single

3.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Single, November 3, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

For well over a decade, Glass Hammer has been one of the most impressive and productive rock bands while remaining resolutely independent from the music industry s star-making and -consuming apparatus. Taking advantage of that independence and the liberty it affords, the Chattanooga, Tennessee-based group led by multi-instrumentalists and songwriters Fred Schendel and Steve Babb has produced some of the most musically impressive and thematically interesting albums of our time. Releases such as Lex Rex, Perelandra, On to Evermore, and The Inconsolable Secret are classics of modern rock, while Culture of Ascent and Chronometree are likewise impressive and thoroughly enjoyable. All are well worth owning, and the band s entire catalog, extensive as it is, is well worth exploring. Their musical and lyrical adventurousness and their virtuosic instrumental abilities placed Glass Hammer firmly in the category of progressive rock, an assessment which the group embraced without seeming to let it limit their creativity. As appears to be the case with most of those who gravitate to progressive rock, Babb and Schendel seem to revel in stretching their musical and compositional abilities and exploring far beyond the confines of three-chord rock music while always keeping in mind the premise that music should be entertaining and enjoyable. Thus it s interesting and pleasing to see them venture to the roots of the progressive rock and beyond in their latest album, Three Cheers for the Broken-Hearted, into a classic late-1960s sound incorporating elements of pop, soul, funk, folk, and psychedelia. It sounds as if the album might actually have been recorded in the late 1960s, when rock musicians enjoyed a level of creative freedom that only independent, self-financed artists such as Glass Hammer can have today. S. T. Karnick The American Culture

Review

Overall, the songs are driven strongly by Steve Babb s bass guitar, and the band largely avoids the virtuosic instrumental solos for which they have previously been known and rightly admired. Instead they work the various instruments together in intricate ways to create varying sound textures over the aggressive, driving rhythms Babb lays down. The songs are mostly in the three- to five-minute range, with just a couple stretching out toward six or seven minutes, just as one might expect to find on a popular late-1960s record by the Beatles, Moody Blues, or Traffic. Yet there is nothing nostalgic or archly retro about the album. The band works in a familiar style but brings their typical creativity to the effort, as a song-by-song outline makes clear. Somehow, Glass Hammer just keeps getting better and better. If you haven t heard of them before, be assured that this is part of what makes the band s work so enjoyable: their independence is essential to their brilliance. --S. T. Karnick - The American Culture
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 3, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Single
  • Label: Arion Records / Sound Resources
  • ASIN: B002Q3OBZY
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #382,688 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Sometimes a rock band is best when reduced to the core elements--Glass Hammer proves that on their new release Three Cheers for the Broken-Hearted. Previously Glass Hammer featured a talented revolving cast of vocalists and musicians held together by the core writer/producer/musicians Steve Babb and Fred Schendel. On Three Cheers for the Broken - Hearted most of the composing and instruments are handled by Babb and Schendel, while returning vocalist Susie Bogdanowicz steps up to the microphone to handle lead vox on seven of the eleven tracks.

Three Cheers for the Broken-Hearted could be considered a reboot for the band...Glass Hammer 2.0 if you will. This is a fresh, current sound, and a natural progression from their last album Culture of Ascent. That project had Glass Hammer experimenting with more modern progressive rock elements. Three Cheers for the Broken-Hearted veers further away from the band's classic progressive rock roots while maintaining a prog foundation--Babb's booming bass is dramatically present in the mix, and Schendel's keyboard tones are classic. Gone are the long epics and in their place Glass Hammer presents an amazing mixture of ballads, psychedelic rock, layered power pop, and a few heavy tracks. Glass Hammer 1.0 was for fans of Yes, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, and Genesis. This version of Glass Hammer will appeal to fans of Porcupine Tree, Muse, The Beatles, Jellyfish, and even Dream Theater.

Three Cheers for the Broken-Hearted is nicely layered with great sounds and sonic icing that make for a great headphone experience. Even after listening several times there are new and interesting elements to discover. The album features Babb and Schendel's best production yet...it sounds crisp, expansive, and punchy.
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Format: Audio CD
If you are new to Glass Hammer, check out "The Inconsolable Secret" instead. If you are already a Glass Hammer fan, you may feel broken-hearted when you hear what this GREAT BAND has produced on "Three Cheers".

Susie Bogdanowicz has a beautiful voice. I was glad to see her finally take the lead vocalist role on this album. Unfortunately, that is the only good thing I can say about this album.

There is nothing particularly bad about this album. However, most of the elements that made previous Glass Hammer albums great are completely missing here. The arrangements have been dumbed down to the point where they don't even make good pop songs. I was trying to think of another band that had made music as bland as this. I was going to say The Carpenters, but then I realized that some of The Carpenters songs were actually far more compelling than this album.

There is no longer any trace of progressive rock in this music. The complex, epic arrangements are gone. There are no displays of virtuosity. The imaginative lyrics are missing. All we are left with are pleasing, but subdued vocals flowing over hollow, uninspired 4/4 arrangements that may leave you feeling empty.
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The other day I came home to see the familiar Amazon packaging for a CD...I eagerly tore it open, and instantly threw the new Glass Hammer CD that I was thoroughly looking forward to hearing into stereo system.

I actually thought I had put the wrong CD into the system. Track after track went by with no progressive influences at all, very little melody, almost no songcraft.

What happened? If this is their attempt to try to hit the popular market it will fail--hugely. These are completely unremarkable songs, and they'll completely turn off their fanbase that's looking for a modern band that utilizes the classic 70's prog platform as a starting point.

I give this two stars instead of one due to the impeccable production. The CD sounds great. It's too bad the music that sounds so good was just as good.

Best tunes: The Mid-Life Weird, Hyperbole, and Falling.

To be honest, I can't see a single song from this disc making my Glass Hammer best-of. I hope they resurface with a return to form soon!
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One of the best GH albums ever. Never heard them--start here. Then go to The Breaking of the World. Harder core Prog go try IF and Chronometry. They really don't have a bad album just very interesting evolution of sound and genre development. Rarely are two albums alike in sound and texture.
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I'm on a voyage of discovery with Glass Hammer, and paying top dollar to find out what all the fuss was about when they were making music and I wasn't listening. I'm working my way through the studio albums in the order they were originally released. Read accordingly.

The first thing you're going to notice is that for the first time since the remake of Inconsolable Secret there is a proper CD booklet with art and lyrics and everything. No more digging around in dodgy "lyrics" sites for the words you can't make out on a favorite track. Huzzah!

Then there's the music.

Glass Hammer have taken a break from making music a-la Yes with a dash of ELP and Genesis in to record a refreshing commercial album. To read some reviews you'd think they had publicly repudiated their former work and destroyed the masters Hey, even the sacred prog rockers of my day did this occasionally. No harm, no foul.

I mean, I can't credit complaints of "Not real Glass Hammer" when my recent collection includes "Journey of the Dunedan", "On to Evermore" (c/w cat & dog chorus) and "the Middle Earth Album". If anything, "real Glass Hammer" involves making wild turns from the expected on each album produced, and if anyone can listen to Schrodinger's Lament and conclude that Glass Hammer have lost the existential thread they need to put down the bong for a bit and *really* listen.

So what if the musical structure doesn't involve 15 minute digressions in 15/8 with sycopated slide bass? Progressive *musicians* are not a genre, they are an attitude, one that involves exploration and experimentation.
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