the first time i listerned to this album i was confused....it sounded out of time and nothing really made any sense to me, there were no chorus's and the music just seemed all over the place, it sat on my shelf for a good 6 months before i gave it another try, a year on and i've not stopped listening, its so amazing, this guy either has no clue about music or he's clicked onto a hidden formula, don't ask me how this sounds as good as it does?? After you've listened to it a few times you'll understand, try listening to the glow pt 2 with headphones, a whole new expierience, if your after something a little different get this album, if you happy with the mainstream stuff that pollutes the airwaves dont bother you'll probably hate it....
If you like your music slick and shiny then I advise to leave this album alone, if you like music with imperfections and lo-fi then you are in for a treat with The Glow pt.2, not because it is lo-fi but because it contains some of the most fascinating recordings I have heard.
A large part of the album is just acoustic guitar and vocals ("I want a wind to blow", "I'll not contain you" etc.), but The Microphones (which is basically just Phil Elvrum) also use trembling piano, highly distorted drums and steel drums to great effect during the course of 18 tracks. Rather than having a verse/chorus/verse/chorus structure, songs tend to develop a theme and then lurch to a completely new theme halfway through, often with the new section having a completely new arrangment and feel to the previous one.
The instruments are multitracked in such a way that Elvrum will play a disjointed strumming pattern on one track and then play the missing chords on a seperate track which gives a disjointed and syncopated quality to the rhythms. The record is frequently soft and beautiful and is prone to explode in a quagmire of crashing drums and heavy garage distortion but the core of the writing is underpinned by a strong indie-pop sensibility. All the tracks feel as if they have a sense of ghostliness and sporadic breaks of reverb-drenched piano and Elvrum's wavering vocal help enforce this.
it is quite hard to put into words just how great this album really is. I have had it for a few years now and yet can still listen to it like i bought it yesterday. the production is so good that thee are hidden treasures that lurk deep in the mix that only repeat listenings will uncover. It is hard to pick out exemplary songs however 'i want wind to blow' shows the massive range on this album starting with gentle strumming then singing the stopping only to restart and burst (this is the only word to describe the transition!) in to the title track. Also 'Map' is perhaps the best example of what people can do with a recording desk if put to it and there are also lovely songs to melt the heart like 'i'll be in the air' It is hard to recomend other albums that sound like this to get you interested as it is such a distinct style so just take abit of a plunge and find that this is the most rewarding £10 you are ever likly to spend on music. I have am still yet to hear another album as good as this!
Let me start by saying this: Phil Elvrum, the main man behind Microphones has his own rules when it comes to recording music. Songs may start very silently and almost shy before they explode with incredible bursts of noise. Songs may start at the end and end right in the middle, acoustic guitars swimming from left to right and back again, sometimes in key, sometimes not. Phil may sing, but also shout or cry or do whatever, it doesn't matter because it always goes straight to your heart and sends shivers through your body. This is music as you have never ever heard before. They say it's from Anacortes, WA in the USA, but i'm not sure. It could also be from a completely different solarsystem. Do yourself a favour and get this album.