Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Jellyfish Essentials: Grand Hallway, Yes Is The Answer - 8.0

Its always good when an artist or group has a unique sound. Its even better when its difficult to describe said sound with words. This description just about sums up Grand Hallway. With piano, electric guitar, violin, bells, bass, mandolin, accordion, and banjo, you never know what you're going to get with this incomparable local Seattle based group. Every Grand Hallway record is like a sampler box of exceptional music, but to me Yes Is The Answer undoubtedly stands out as their best work to date. This album is the first full length from this band, but has the feel of a fully developed, long experienced band, much older then their time. With luscious, deep melodies, and the elegant, soft, almost whispered lyrics of Japan native Tomo Nakayama, this album is remarkably unforgettable.

Yes Is The Answer begins with the unrivaled track of "Seward Park". This is actually in fact the albums greatest shortcoming. Its untoppable. Marvelous vocals laced with a charming piano background make you think of a dreary, yet elgant, rainy fall day, making it a pleasure to listen to. It's quickly followed by the quick paced, mysteriously, upbeat tune of "Napoleon's Right Shoe", which not unlike the album as a whole is a jumble of emotions which leave you puzzled as to what to feel. Other notable songs arrive at the close of the album, such as the delicate track "Philadelphia" or the sun coated "Brooklyn". "As A Tower" ends the tracklist with beauty with a smooth seven minute piece, closing the album, and leaving you with the feeling that you just witnessed something grand.

This album isn't completely without its faults. It does feel at times that the compilation is like a sandwhich with not enough meat - Its almost a masterpiece but there is just a little something lacking. It is also correct that you do need to be in the right mood to enjoy this, which means laying back, relaxing, and appreciating music. Nevertheless, I guarentee you will get some enjoyment out of this no matter what music you like. If your local record store carries this I urge you to buy it no matter who you are.


Purchase Album: Amazon, iTunes, Sonic Boom

1 comment: