The tightly-woven transient hums of guitar, piano, vocals, harmonica, trumpet, and strings could pass as an organ alone: almost drone-like, When The Detail Lost its Freedom is a symphony, put together in a striking and self-conscious representation of Brian McBride’s experience of, “Picking up the pieces and moving on.”
This debut album – McBride’s first solo departure from the Stars of The Lid – was composed over a four-year period and has the emotional capacity to express McBride’s feelings during a divorce and a move from the mid-west to LA.
The album was recorded on an ASR X keys sampler with exclusively acoustic instruments and sounds – room noise, for example. It features vocals by McBride’s ex-wife and fiancé, guitar by Mike Linnen (who also did the soundtracks for All Real Girls, George Washington, and Undertow), trumpets by The Morgan Park Step up Trumpet Section and violin by Eden Batki.
It’s hard to conceieve of this melancholy set of tracks separately – not that they sound all alike, because they don’t – but, the way the CD flows, each song seems like a movement in a larger composition with small variations in the mood
Its tranquil aura invites comparisons to the impressionist period in art. When you step back, you don’t notice separate parts and certain colors or tones, you really see the full picture. McBride has been very successful in composing passionate anti-melodies and themes in such an original way. Since it it takes the listener through real feelings expressed in music and has the space to allow personal interpretation, this music could be enjoyed by someone from any walk of life
Racking my brain, I tried to come up with comparisons – the only thing I can say is that to me, it sounds like a contemporary version of the Romantic period tone-poem; each track has shifting subtle features of its own but to put these into words would be a difficult task. The album paints a picture 12 times over – they say that a picture is worth a thousand words and I don’t think I would be able to come up with 12,000 that would justify the contentment that this CD portrays. It comes highly recommended. Brain McBride has made a collection of songs that is truly a holistic experience.