Thursday, June 4, 2009
311 - Uplifter (Deluxe Edition)
The four dudes from Omaha known as 311 Come Original once again with their 9th album, Uplifter. I snagged the Deluxe Edition (2 bonus tracks, which imho should have made it to the regular tracklisting). Ask any fan what 311 album they are into the most, and chances are they'll respond with a record that's over 8 years old. Sound like 311 heard the fan's voices and returned to what they do best. That being said, I'll touch on a few songs that really stuck out to me, in good or bad ways.
Jackpot leads off and kicks you square in the nutsack. Energetic as all get-out and loaded with big drums and chugs galore, Nick and SA ride the groove at their best - spitting a la rap/rock while providing those sweet ass harmonies on the chorus...(no pitch correction detected...yet). I could have done without the collective band, "JACKPOT...who-o-o-oa!" though. A wee bit o' cheese for my liking.
My Heart Sings starts off a bit Amber-ish due to its simple bassline and the scale that the phased-out, reverb for days lead guitar plays. However, once the chorus kicks in, this song gains an identity of its own. Great movement between the vocal harmonies and the instrumentation - an instant favorite of mine. Definitely a great jam to chill out to, I don't know, say, with, a layyyydayyyyy © Leon Phelps.
Never Ending Summer - Again with band chants...I'm not down (three-eleven, three-three-eleven...maybe it will work live, but for me? not on a studio album). Not much to say here - decent jam, fairly simplistic...apart from Chad's always excellent drumming and Tim's face-melting guitar solo at 2:40.
Two Drops In The Ocean - I'm a sucker for downtempo 311...they just do the reggae vibe so well. Great lyrics, great harmonies, P-Nut playing well in the pocket, just great stuff. Sounds like a new addition to the daily rotation for me.
India Ink - Heavy riffs, fat drums, soaring vocals on the chorus, and a sprinkle of sitar = recipe for success.
Too Much Too Fast - Bouncing, happy vibe throughout this track. Some nice sidestick action in the intro leading to a striding pace keeps your head bobbing. Good stuff.
Hey You - Another track that hits hard, the first single sounds like it will be extremely successful. Hey You comes out as a sort of love ballad to music (a successful formula). A well-balanced mix of chunky riffs and laid-back breaks, it demands attention. Check the video out here.
Produced by Bob Rock of Metallica fame, this album is well-rounded. I dig it. It sounds like a mix of Grassroots, Music, and a little bit of Transistor. Put simply, it sounds like good old 311 (No "Don't Tread On Me" here...woof). Don't get me wrong - there are still glimpses of tacky lyrics and repetitive riffs, but the sound that 311 fans have become accustomed to are all present once again.
The drums are compressed very well, giving them a deep, warm, and full-bodied pop, the silky vocals sit nicely atop of the mix, the bass provides a strong backbone, and Tim's guitar tones, as always, are excellent throughout the album.
do-Buy meter: 8.0/10 dB