SKIN DEEP - Album reviewed by Global Trancemission

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SKIN DEEP - Album reviewed by Global Trancemission

Post  globaltrancemission on Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:16 am

SKIN DEEP album reviewed by Global Trancemission

1- Everything Is Now

The vocals and lyrics are the trademark style for Skin Deep (a Mike Cooley project) on the title track which is a medium paced rocker. The vocals are doubled with delays
and some nice harmony backing and are well placed in the mix.
Behind the vocals is a minimal backing of bass and drums which provide the rhythm and pace of the track and between the vocals / verses are some crisp clean guitar lines
which are immediately identified as a Telecaster.The last guitar break has the Tele playing a more distorted rock line to finish the track on a high.

2- Parallel Girl

Song about a man living in a parallel world with his fantasy girl. Another classic set of lyrics on this much more uptempo and upbeat number.The instantly identifiable vocals
are set to a nice crunchy distorted riff from the rhythm guitar on a descending chord line.The bright clean Telecaster cuts through the mix between verses playing some good
improvised lines around the rhythm guitar and on the two last guitar breaks you can hear a panned spoken vocal which is quite effective. The upbeat feel of this song gives it
a Pop/ Rock flavour as it comes across lighter than most Rock tracks.

3- The Pearly Gates

Dedicated to the memory of his Grandma who recently passed on this song is a little bit different to the others. Its slower paced and moves along in a chilled fashion.In fact
there is almost a Country feel to this in places. It has a mixture of influences ....at times it is very 60's and yet it also reminds me of early Dire Straits too.The Tele leads are
crisp and clear again playing a nice mixture of lines around the song. There is a break at about 2:58 with a sustained guitar line which is probably played with an E-bow.
An unusual and distinctive song.

4- The River

Now we are in Classic Hard Rock territory with a busier bassline and a growling distorted main guitar riff probably in a drop tuning to give a big deep bottom end to the track.
Vocals are more rock like on this one and at times there's that Frank Zappa influence coming through which you will often hear on Z's songs. The Bright Tele lead weaves
interesting patterns around the menacing rhythm guitar. This track rocks to a different level than the previous three tracks.

5- Bending Light

An instrumental track and this is my favourite so far. The drum and percussion patterns are quite intricate beneath the track. The guitars on this track are deliciously blended
together and seem to keep rising and falling in waves around the main riff.I can't remember it sounding this good on the original version that I heard on FOS.
I just love the whole feel of this track and this is some of the best guitar work I have heard you play. Would love a whole album like this.

6- Delerium

This is more Psychedelic Rock territory another favourite style . The vocals are spoken...rather like a film soundtrack...and the lyrics are pure Spacy Psychedelic.
The guitars on this are really good too with an interesting mixture of different guitar textures weaving around. I like this track a lot.

7 - Mantrap

Song title is self explanatory about a femme fatale. Again this goes into Psychedelic territory as the song builds up. It starts with pounding drums setting an almost tribal
beat and a real killer bass line rips underneath a gritty rhythm guitar. The lead guitar has a frantic improv that creates a 60's style acid garage sound.Good vocals on this one
and as the song progresses we can hear strange cries and wails in the backgound with echoed voices that seem as though they are speaking from your subconscious
mind.
The whole thing reminds me of the type of acid influenced songs that you might hear on the "Nuggets " albums....very cool.

8- In The Air

This song slows down the pace to something less frantic but it still has an intensity about it. A simpler format here with just bass, drums, lead guitar and vocals. Moves along at a more chilled pace with some nice lead on the Tele playing around the vocal lines creating an atmospheric vibe.

9- Run With Me

Starts with a reversed guitar line and then BLAM.....a filthy dirty mean guitar hits you effectively and accurately right between the eyes.When I say mean ....this is
earblasting material. This is something like a vintage Black Sabbath sound. However the surpise is that between verses and riffs there is a gentle chorus guitar piece that
lulls you away and then the hard riff comes right back and hits you again. This track is like going ten rounds with Mike Tyson. Its dirty and mean but just so lovable.

10- Within The Dream

The final track is another different approach in that it is a more of an electronic style and has a slight Techno feel to it. A very deep strong bassline underpinned by some
intricate percussion runs right through. Weaving around this are some dreamlike synth parts that create the overall atmosphere. Z's trademark vocals are here but there are
some given a long delay that is panned over to the far right so it sounds like the line is being repeated. There is a long mid section where the guitar improvises a nice solo over the keys and rhythm track.
A good track to end on as it shows another diverse approach rather than sticking to a standard formula.

Album Summary and Thoughts

This is the first time that I have done a whole album as a track by track review and I found it harder than reviewing individual tracks....which is something I have done many times. I found it rewarding as you get a fuller picture of an artist by listening to a whole album and a deeper appreciation of their music which is more fulfilling.

This album is diverse in that it you cannot pigeonhole it as one set style or genre. That is very much in its favour as it shows creativity and an artist who is not afraid of changing styles and experimentation.

As a whole album it is well put together with a good selection of tracks and production is good with everything as it should be ......level volumes and crisp clarity on all vocals and instruments.

Mike (z) has worked hard on this album and it is a good representation of his work. A mention should also be made of the cover artwork also which was done by Steve of
Star4mation who is an excellent and experienced artist and has done cover artwork for other artists as well.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well there it is .....finished at last and as I said above an interesting and rewarding thing to do.
I hope you like it and please feel free to copy it and use it wherever you want....maybe at AFR ?





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Re: SKIN DEEP - Album reviewed by Global Trancemission

Post  Star4mation on Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:42 pm

Excellent and well written review Peter Smile

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Re: SKIN DEEP - Album reviewed by Global Trancemission

Post  DACE on Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:07 am

I will do one soon.
And read Peters.
working on guitars, had 5 hour band practice last niggt..Smile Me a Chris RAWK!
Played my CopperRed Strat ...Smile awesome.
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Re: SKIN DEEP - Album reviewed by Global Trancemission

Post  z on Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:19 am

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You Peter.
Very nice words and a good analysis of what each track is and does.

Smiling big. And really glad you liked Bending Light so much.

When I am almost done with an Album I re-listen to every track and write down 1 thing
I want to fix on each track. On this one there were some tracks where I wrote 'Nothing' and some tracks
where I fixed 1 thing and remixed.

On Bending Light I wrote 'lead guitar needs to be higher in the mix' -- so I changed that, and re-mastered a little.

I will definitely use your words on AFR and elsewhere.
A very nice gift. Smiling. Very Happy


Oh, and I really need to thanks everyone here. You are ALL a big influence on this Album.
All your comments and listening to your music influences me on each new song.



Z


Last edited by z on Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:30 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: SKIN DEEP - Album reviewed by Global Trancemission

Post  z on Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:27 am

DACE wrote:I will do one soon.
And read Peters.
working on guitars, had 5 hour band practice last niggt..Smile Me a Chris RAWK!
Played my CopperRed Strat ...Smile awesome.
DACE>

No hurry Dace. As you know I still need to get you a copy! LOL.
I need to re-upload tonight with lighter artwork (no audio changes).

Z

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Re: SKIN DEEP - Album reviewed by Global Trancemission

Post  globaltrancemission on Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:51 am

z wrote:Thank You! Thank You! Thank You Peter.
Very nice words and a good analysis of what each track is and does.

Smiling big. And really glad you liked Bending Light so much.

When I am almost done with an Album I re-listen to every track and write down 1 thing
I want to fix on each track. On this one there were some tracks where I wrote 'Nothing' and some tracks
where I fixed 1 thing and remixed.

On Bending Light I wrote 'lead guitar needs to be higher in the mix' -- so I changed that, and re-mastered a little.

I will definitely use your words on AFR and elsewhere.
A very nice gift. Smiling. Very Happy


Oh, and I really need to thanks everyone here. You are ALL a big influence on this Album.
All your comments and listening to your music influences me on each new song.



Z

My pleasure z Smile

I wrote the review as something that would tell the reader what I liked about the music.

That is the difference between what i have done here and commenting on single tracks purely posted here where I give advice if I see something that I think may improve a track.

An album review is a different thing....it should be something positive that the artist can use for promoting the album.

Of course if the reviewer doesn't actually like the album then the best policy is to not do a review at all. No artist would want a bad review would they.

Really glad you liked Z and please use it wherever you like Smile

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Re: SKIN DEEP - Album reviewed by Global Trancemission

Post  z on Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:29 am


Thanks Peter. I already posted it on Facebook for people to see.
I think you did a real nice job.

I'm glad you thought Run With Me, worked on the album. I was a little worried that it was
too "Gotham-y" but I like having it there as kind of a WAKE UP near the end.

And I hope that people will think The Pearly Gates belongs too, even if they don't know why
I wrote it.

This album is a much looser concept than Robots Of Dawn. Instead of a story arc, it's more
theme based. Kind of about life and love and reality and death.

Bending Light would have never happened without you. It was all based around your experimention
with echo and reverb, and me trying to do some of that.

Frankly I usually expect reviews of my albums to be more like: "BACK AWAY FROM THE MIC!" Shocked lol!


I will be adding the review to AFR as well when I get a chance.
Thanks again!

Z

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Re: SKIN DEEP - Album reviewed by Global Trancemission

Post  globaltrancemission on Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:54 pm

Z.............Something I noticed while doing the review.

I played through the tracks at least 2 or 3 times each while I let my thoughts sink in.

Some of the songs need to be listened to a few times to be fully appreciated.

The Pearly Gates is a good example.......it kind of grew on me.....I think its because it has a catchy line that sticks in your mind after you have heard it.

It's very different reviewing an album......you get a lot more insight into the music and the artist. It was an interesting experience and I am glad I did it. Smile

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Re: SKIN DEEP - Album reviewed by Global Trancemission

Post  z on Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:19 pm

globaltrancemission wrote:Z.............Something I noticed while doing the review.

I played through the tracks at least 2 or 3 times each while I let my thoughts sink in.

Some of the songs need to be listened to a few times to be fully appreciated.

The Pearly Gates is a good example.......it kind of grew on me.....I think its because it has a catchy line that sticks in your mind after you have heard it.

It's very different reviewing an album......you get a lot more insight into the music and the artist. It was an interesting experience and I am glad I did it. Smile

Ah yes! This goes back to something I experiment with a lot.
Pattern Recognition. Most regular songs are simple enough that you can guess--to some degree--what's coming up.
And the patterns are short enough that you can remember them.

I like the concept of songs where you can't grasp all the patterns the first time through.
But the next time, your brain starts to remember what it heard before and it makes more sense.
And then the time after it gets even more clear.

I didn't do that so much on this album--at least on purpose--but I do try to do that in the way layers
slide across each other.

Thanks for the time Peter. It does mean a lot to me.

Z







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Re: SKIN DEEP - Album reviewed by Global Trancemission

Post  z on Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:12 pm

globaltrancemission wrote:SKIN DEEP album reviewed by Global Trancemission

Well there it is .....finished at last and as I said above an interesting and rewarding thing to do.
I hope you like it and please feel free to copy it and use it wherever you want....maybe at AFR ?



It is up, and looks great! Thanks!

http://atomicforcerecords.com/skindeep.html


Z

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Re: SKIN DEEP - Album reviewed by Global Trancemission

Post  DACE on Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:26 am

z wrote:
globaltrancemission wrote:Z.............Something I noticed while doing the review.

I played through the tracks at least 2 or 3 times each while I let my thoughts sink in.

Some of the songs need to be listened to a few times to be fully appreciated.

The Pearly Gates is a good example.......it kind of grew on me.....I think its because it has a catchy line that sticks in your mind after you have heard it.

It's very different reviewing an album......you get a lot more insight into the music and the artist. It was an interesting experience and I am glad I did it. Smile

Ah yes! This goes back to something I experiment with a lot.
Pattern Recognition. Most regular songs are simple enough that you can guess--to some degree--what's coming up.
And the patterns are short enough that you can remember them.

I like the concept of songs where you can't grasp all the patterns the first time through.
But the next time, your brain starts to remember what it heard before and it makes more sense.
And then the time after it gets even more clear.

I didn't do that so much on this album--at least on purpose--but I do try to do that in the way layers
slide across each other.

Thanks for the time Peter. It does mean a lot to me.

Z








I have found that it takes ME about 10 to 20 plays to get to know and remember my songs. Sometimes that many to get to liking some of them. All this is what im interested in doing with music. I want music to give alot in that its not just a song that you can hear once and be done with it.

But, thats just me. People dont have enuff time for even that these days. Im try'n to do music for , (music)...not for people so much. And it seems thats the best thing to do.....A song should offer alot more than its length.

Good points and thinking Z....

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Re: SKIN DEEP - Album reviewed by Global Trancemission

Post  globaltrancemission on Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:38 am

I find it's different with my own songs because in the process of mixing and mastering them I will have played them maybe 50 times or more.
Sometimes I have to have a break and go back to it for a fresh listen.

I tend to leave my tracks for a while after they are finished to give me a better idea of whether I like them by then approaching them as a fresh listener.

Some of my older tracks from years ago still sound really good and there are some I feel are past their sell by date. However its all personal.......some people may like the ones that I don't and not like the ones that are my favourites.

I guess its all part of the fun of making your own music and I wouldn't have it any other way Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: SKIN DEEP - Album reviewed by Global Trancemission

Post  DACE on Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:18 am

My music pretty much makes itself i guess. I just do the stupid stuff, like push buttons, turn stuff on and off, ect. I cant make music do what (I) want in anyway. Im its host. It has a mind of its own, and wont listen to me much.... Laughing So i just leave it be for the most part. I DO Slap it around when i cant control it tho.. Laughing Not enuff to piss it off , just enuff to remind it im there.

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Re: SKIN DEEP - Album reviewed by Global Trancemission

Post  z on Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:42 am

DACE wrote:My music pretty much makes itself i guess. I just do the stupid stuff, like push buttons, turn stuff on and off, ect. I cant make music do what (I) want in anyway. Im its host. It has a mind of its own, and wont listen to me much.... Laughing So i just leave it be for the most part. I DO Slap it around when i cant control it tho.. Laughing Not enuff to piss it off , just enuff to remind it im there.

DACE>

Totally! I like how you said that. I've always felt that you are kind of "channeling the music" into the world.
You can shape it, but you don't want to lose the spirit of it.

I've come from the opposite direction (except for lyrics). I use to be very premeditated and edit everything.
Now, I play more freely.

Z

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Re: SKIN DEEP - Album reviewed by Global Trancemission

Post  globaltrancemission on Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:00 pm

Surprising as it may seem....I make and play my music like that too.

It's after I've laid down the parts and in the production, mixing down and mastering that I spend a lot of time doing the listening. You guys know what I mean.....my production speaks for itself. Smile

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Re: SKIN DEEP - Album reviewed by Global Trancemission

Post  DACE on Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:19 pm

I listen a TON, because i want to understand this sound i make. Why is it so strange and different than other music i hear? I have a hard time remembering its me that did it. Zone-Player, i get lost in it...Then listening.... Im setting there try'n to understand myself i guess??
Months or years later i really like my music and listening to it. But it takes years to get to that point. I should do it like they wine i guess...Get a year or two ahead of my sharing tunes?????? HEY! that might work.
But its pointless i think.
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Re: SKIN DEEP - Album reviewed by Global Trancemission

Post  z on Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:20 pm

DACE wrote:I listen a TON, because i want to understand this sound i make. Why is it so strange and different than other music i hear? I have a hard time remembering its me that did it. Zone-Player, i get lost in it...Then listening.... Im setting there try'n to understand myself i guess??
Months or years later i really like my music and listening to it. But it takes years to get to that point. I should do it like they wine i guess...Get a year or two ahead of my sharing tunes?????? HEY! that might work.
But its pointless i think.
DACE>

We are all a needle in a haystack. That's the problem.
Being good doesn't get anyone anywhere these days. It's all based on gimmicks. And Hype.

By the way, that's the name of my new band: GIMMICKS AND HYPE! lol!


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