May 11, 2010
While Green has become less confusing and more accessible in his thematic and lyrical content over the course of his past two records it is the composing and conceptualizing of music that makes him such a perfect candidate to write and perform the score for Timbuktu, a theatrical adaptation of Paul Austers story about a dog and his owner who make one last trip together. The stroy touches on the subjects of loss, acceptance, dealing with death, frienship and purpose. With intricate and eclectic compositions Green manages to lift out these themes in his music as well.
Gallop imitates motion but you can easily imagine fear or uncertainty to be at the core of this piece. "How long do we have? Lets hurry and make one last journey!" And as the piece goes on it mellows out with almost Japanese influences which could be seen as a sort of "Lets at least enjoy the journey" kind of narrative.
Sailor Shirts seems to provide a more outward look that sees the story and the adventure. Sometimes it all seems wonderful, sometimes danger may lay in wait. It's all very dynamic. Big Lips has a big sound, almost melodramatic while Lazy Dog's lush flute melody is quite dreamy and light of nature. These songs, to me, show the different sides of friendship, showing the lighter parts and the darker parts alike, especially near the end of Lazy Dog.
Twins has a certain 'dark cloud' hanging over it that seems to partially dissipate but never really goes away. Ellington is driven by a subdued saxophone and a relatively uplifting melody and almost sounds like a jam at times. Lasers sounds exactly like you'd expect. Electronica, synths and mystery. Incoherently coherent which is a perfect example of Greens intricate songwriting. He does something odd and makes it work.
The dread of Sticky Ricki is something you actually feel. The marching tempo and the distorting of the sounds almost makes it come off as a futuristic funeral march while the album finishes with Ron Ashton, which sounds like a subtle eulogy.
Balanced and perfectly suited to the story's themes, "MusiK for a Play" remains relevant and quirky but in the best possible way. Green could use all of his creativity within the confines of a concept and rose to the challenge in an impressive fashion.