As I pulled the CD out of the bubble pack, I held it in my hands, glanced at it as I proceeded to tear off the wrap, and stopped. Boy, that cover photo is beautiful. Buy the CD to see why it is a very special photo of literary significance. Good design is always a great start, but Scott Miller and his High Amplitude Family need no fancy packaging at any time because of what always lies inside. This release is no exception.
For those unfamiliar with Mr. Miller, he was the leader of the important group, Game Theory, who kept melodic pop alive in the hurting ‘80s. For me, one of the greatest compliments this reviewer ever got was by a college DJ while playing some of my stuff was: “...this guy has a real Scott Miller “Like a Girl Jesus’ vibe”.
Here, what strikes me when I hear this is the progression the band has taken since its debut “Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things”. Like the stuff on other Loud Family material except taken a little farther, the music is orchestral in the tapestry of sounds that Miller tracks on the songs. The guitar, synth and string sounds are very refined and well recorded on the carefully written compositions. The variety of styles on the tracks is also of note. They range from catchy, up tempo pop to blistering psychedelic rock to piano balladry. ” Nice When I Want Something” has a blistering Eric Clapton Cream like outro that I love, especially in the context of such a compact, structured pop record. “Blackness, Blackness” features Millers’ soaring voice, and the crying wah guitar reminds me of something cool like the wah, wah solo on Bread’s “Guitar Man”.
Scott and The Loud Family release recordings not often enough. This may be his best effort yet, and that is saying a ton considering the great body of work he has behind him. He is a veteran worthy of the highest respect and support, especially because he has not fallen into the trap of writing the same album five or six times. Any worthy musicians out there know what I mean, because there are only so many notes, and only the best can continually create material that sounds fresh and new like Attractive Nuisance.
// Notes from the Road
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