the o of adore
Thrill Jockey Records, Thrill 174, 2006
shadow walks away
a burned letter
the suns gliding!
Tom Verlaine: Guitars
Patrick A. Derivaz: Bass
Billy Ficca: Drums
Like a collection of minimalist improvised soundtracks to short films that you'll never see although, such is the easy nature of some of the pieces, that you feel you may have actually seen the film, sometime, once...
This doesn't mean it's entirely self-indulgent, because it isn't, but it's like these sounds are generated in/sent out from some lost and lonely place maybe in the hope that they'll connect with someone. If they do, great.
It's all very pleasant in an ambient kind of way and how clean it all seems and there are some great sounds and some nice pieces and when Tom Verlaine plays the guitar I always listen, and Patrick Derivaz and Billy Ficca contribute some sympathetic noises, but I just find myself wondering what it's for. Which is a mistake, of course, because it isn't for anything, it just is. Only in a couple of places (Mountain and the slide guitar of The Suns Gliding!) do the three players stretch out to produce anything more than just a sketch. Meteor Beach is surely the piece that was played as "a little Rhumba number" by these three musicians plus Alan Licht at the World Trade Centre Benefit in 2001. The most enjoyable piece on the album is the jazz-tinged Rings which is credited to all three players and engages you in more than just a fleeting way (I say "jazz-tinged" although I know absolutely nothing about jazz and care even less but this is what I imagine bits of it possibly sound like).
Mood pieces. Mostly I find they have an air of sadness about them. Melancholy. Regret. Fleetingly, they make me think of empty rooms, wide open spaces, abandoned houses, people looking for other people and failing to find them. I really enjoy listening to this album but I'm not sure why because other than on a superficial level these pieces don't connect with anything in me and they don't leave me changed in any way after they've gone. Which may well be the point. You might play it as incidental music while you're having dinner, or relaxing in the afternoon, or having a conversation, or reading a book, or thinking about nothing in particular.