The new Calvin Johnson album 'A Wonderful Beast' is an experiment in sound. Using the theory "rock'n'roll will never die" as a starting point, Calvin entered the Audio Eagle studio in Nashville, Tenesee. Working closely with producer Patrick Carney and chief engineer marc Whitmore, the team tested the resiliency of such time-honoured materials as the electric guitar, modular synthesizer and trap drum kit, combining them in various ratios with elements like musical chords a, c and dm.
The results are a Frankenstein's monster of an album, a wonderful beast. Following in the tradition of such brill building songwriting teams as Leiber-Stoller, Greenwich-Barry and Goffin-King, all the songs on 'A Wonderful Beast' are a collaboration between Calvin Johnson and Patrick Carney.
Carney, best known for his work as a member of the Akron, Ohio powerhouse The Black Keys, established Audio Eagle to further exactly this type of rock'n'roll workshoping, allowing the music and songwriting of now to rocket launched into the future. Calvin first met Patrick in 2005 while touring the United States following the release of his second solo album before the dream faded…
The two kept in touch over the years. Patrick suggesting some sort of collaboration; they got together with only the belief that music can ooze from the savage breast, and a wonderful beast emerged from the primal dross.
An important element of the sound success of 'A Wonderful Beast' is the contribution of chanteuse Michelle Branch, who provides back-up harmony vocals on three songs. Ms. Branch, who scored many hits in the early double-0 decade as a solo artist and as a member of The Wreckers, lives next door to Audio Eagle. Intrigued by the sounds ratcheting forth from the lonesome shack that houses the studio, she walked over to see for herself what all the hubbub was about. Before long she was singing like a bird, in three part harmony (thanks, Michelle!).
1. Kiss Me Sweetly
2. A Wonderful Beast
3. Like You Do
4. Wherefore Art Thou
5. Are We Ready
6. Bubbles, Clouds And Rainbows
7. Blues Come Runnin'
8. Why You Crying
9. Another Teardrop Falls
10. When The Weekend Comes Around
11. (I've Still Got) Sand In My Shoes
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