Friday, 20 April 2012

Propeller: Background + Reviews

It's always nice to have one's work reviewed. It's even better when by and large the reviewer enjoys the work - Better still when they 'get' it, or at least parts of it... ;-)

'Propeller' is the solo debut by singer-songwriter GRICE. It also happens to be one of my major projects of last year, as I produced, mixed and co-arranged the album. Several members of my extended musical family appear alongside GRICE's crew, plus my *actual* family is present in the guise of (wife & frequent musical cohort) Lisa Fletcher who provides additional vocals here and there. Incidentally I too perform on most tracks and wrote one or two new parts for other players...

So, reviews... There have to date been some wonderfully generous articles regarding this album, for which I'm truly grateful. Nonetheless "will people like it?" is rarely a motivating factor for me when working on something, be it my own musical compositions, contributions to outside projects, or (as in this case) when I'm in producer-mode; helping both to translate and expand upon a collaborating artist's ideas. The only question I tend to ask myself is "am I making the right choices for this project at this particular time?" And I ask it a lot.

However, when an album is complete I'm usually able to detach myself from it and begin listening as a punter, (or not at all, as a little distance can be a good thing)... At this point it's fair to say that outside reactions are generally welcome. The process of creating is a fairly isolated one, so it's always nice to see the work reach people in the real world and provoke a response of some kind - Even if it's a negative one, as sometimes that reassures me all the more that I did something right ;-)

The two most recent 'Propeller' reviews landed within hours of each other, and so pleased was I by the content and quality of writing that I'm prompted to share them here with you dear reader...

First-up is this offering by US writer and co-host of the excellent Progopolis radio show Vince Font: "GRICE's 'Propeller' - Where Music & Cinema Converge" (click image below for article).

Incidentally, Progopolis voted (the digital pre-release of) 'Propeller' #3 in their 'Top 20 Albums Of 2011', which was an incredible honour given the competition!

Secondly, we have this piece by English writer Chris Jones: "GRICE - Propeller". (click image below for article).

Chris doesn't like *everything* about it, but that's perfectly OK with me - He has good ears (as does Vince) and his interpretation of the work is valid. Besides, any minor criticisms are offset by wonderfully articulated observations and an overall supportive and enthusiastic vibe for which I'm grateful.

At some point I'll add further reviews & commentary to an as-yet-non-existant Press page within these virtual walls. For now I'll sign-off by posting the teaser trailer that I put together during the pre-release campaign for 'Propeller' using original super 8mm footage shot by GRICE's father (C J Peters). Btw, the inclusion of this footage is far from random - Mr Peters Senior was the inspiration behind most of the songs in this collection, and it was stories of his adventures (told to me by GRICE during our early production sessions) that prompted the inclusion of many of the 'sound design' elements scattered across the album... Things are seldom random in my sound-world, unless of course they're designed to be so ;-)

Lee x