Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Way We Were - (1998)

This Big Apple trio has pulled off a rare and commendable feat. The Way We Were is an example of the seldom-heard complex pop/rock record. The intricacy comes in because a gamut of styles and timbre are successfully arranged as a mosaic impression of the current modern music vernacular. Funk from the '70s (à la George Clinton and Sly Stone), the nascent forms of college rock (Pixies, R.E.M., etc.), and art pop like the B-52's are some referents that become tiles in this harmonious collage. Guitar led, Babe the Blue Ox uses the variety of two vocalists (guitarist Tim Thomas and bassist Rose Thomson). Thomas alternately sings a phrase and snaps out a verse. Thomson mollifies with a naturally dulcet lyric. Their cosmopolitan background produces an album that never sleeps and is densely populated, not just with hooks but approaches. The Way We Were can be listened to repeatedly in expectation of new discoveries.

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