Music

Hidden Orchestra - "Still" (Singles Going Steady)

Give the drummer a raise. The drums establish a structure that belies much of the jazz wandering that floats over the top of "Still".

Adriane Pontecorvo: A free-flowing piece at the intersection of jazz, prog rock, and classical music made all the more impressive by the fact that the Hidden Orchestra is actually a single person. When the music starts to swell, it sounds like a full group of instruments, with the kind of energy that shouldn’t be possible coming out of one man. The song itself meanders, winding from place to place and sounding almost improvisational at times, and it’s a solid, ambitious track. [7/10]

Mike Schiller: Give the drummer a raise. That "Still" works at all is thanks to the beatwork of Jamie Graham and Tim Laine. The drums establish a structure that belies much of the jazz wandering that floats over the top. They're subtle at first, but once the dynamics show up, and those big instrumental hits start happening, the drums start working overtime to accentuate and propel the build. Once everything explodes at the 1:45 mark, those drums are content to sit back and keep the beat, knowing they've done their job. Everything else is beautiful, too, especially when the clarinets and (I think) a trombone start playing melodies on top of each other that complement rather than compete with each other, but man, those drums are sublime. [9/10]

Steve Horowitz: Too much happens much too fast for a song called "Still." The sound of birds are not songs here, but cries from the wilderness that seem to trumpet the magnificence of humans. Instead of all creatures being part of one, people become the leaders of the universe. Hubris is not the answer. Might as well play a military march for all its subtlety. [3/10]

John Garratt: Hidden Orchestra reminds me of how Arthur Jeffes went and commandeered the sound of dear old dad's long-standing ensemble: all arrangement and no tune. There are some decent moments isolated into solo slots (right around the song's halfway point is a good example), but it's hard to justify "Still" being a single when it sounds more like a competently executed interlude. I will give credit where credit is due... in naming a song that doesn't really go anywhere. [5/10]

SCORE: 6.00


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