Just finished listening to Umphrey’s London Sessions and I’d like to talk about it with you. A lot better reviews have been written, reviews notating the rich history of Abbey Road Studios, reviews dissecting the rich tapestry of sounds, and probably a few reviews that shit all over this album. Hell, here’s a link to an actual review from Rolling Stone. (Spoiler, they said it was “like going to church”)
I didn’t start out by trying to write a review. I’m not a music reviewer or a wordsmith. I’m some dude who likes music too much. This wasn’t written with a blog post in mind either, it was done because I’m a huge music nerd and wrote these thoughts out to discuss with a friend. It wasn’t until after we were finished chatting that I realized that I had just organically created a new blog posting. I’m going to post my track by track thoughts here just as I wrote them. They won’t be punched up for the blog. You’re getting my first reaction. I’m going to go through the track listing as if this were the first time I’ve heard these songs.
“Umphrey’s… Where to even start. First of all, it’s a fucking crime that every Rush, Yes, Floyd, or Dream Theater listening prog bro isn’t all over this shit like they are the second coming.” That’s a direct quote from my friend and for the purposes of this post, my Umphrey’s McGee expert, Kyle. He goes on to say, “They are such a great rock band in a very timeless way. The only reason they aren’t currently way more popular is because A) technical proficiency as a criteria died with grunge and B) most folks still mistakenly have them pigeon hole’d as a jamband, They are much more Prog Rock/True Rock on their albums and some of the time live, but the live show often takes on a dance-hall, rave, EDM-jamtronic vibe that’s unparalleled by any other band out there (I’m looking at you Bisco and STS9)”.
Without further ado, my real time thoughts while listening to this album.
1. Bad Friday – Love this song. (that was literally my only thought. I have a way with words)
2. Rocker 2 – This is pure rage face, wish they didn’t start singing, the music was enough.
3. No Diablo – this is a “grow on me” track – certainly a better hook as far as Ump songs go. It’s kind of too light and cheery for my taste, but it’s also what makes it interesting.
4. Cut the Cable – good acoustic tune- could be a moe. song. Wish there were more Umph songs like this one. (Oh yes I did just mention moe. in an Umph post)
5. Out of Order – when this song first started my first thought was “FINALLY”, not sure why. Probably the best track of the first 5. Most jambandy for sure.
6. Glory – freaking beautiful. This makes me think of the bliss jam when it’s live or when it’s used as a nice landing pad.
7. Plunger – does anyone NOT like this track? Classic Umph
8. Comma Later – don’t like the Steely Dan 70’s vibe.
9. Eat – HATE. THIS. SONG. Pure fake metal cheese.
10. She’s So Heavy – Beatles “nuff said” but I’ll say more. Perfect follow up to Eat. The band knows they nailed this track. That’s why it’s here.
A fair critique of this posting would be that I didn’t include a lot of comments for the tracks. Honestly, I wanted the music to speak for itself and wanted a reason to post Umph on Static to offset the indie-death metal-Japanese video game composition- hip hop songs. But mostly I wanted you to start arguing about how Eat isn’t a shitty song,
Happy listening. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this great session.