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New Demos Going Up (Chaotic Neutral)

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Yay, my copy from Maple showed up on release day, didn't get an email so I figured I'd be waiting until next week. Will listen to this puppy later.

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I always have that problem when pre-ordering albums from iTunes, so I don't do it any more.

 

Have listened to the album once. Really digging it so far. A lot better than Arrows, which I am not as high on as I was when it came out. Has that great Livesey sound to it.

To hell with pre-ordering then :) Picked up a CD this afternoon anyways, I always like to have a hard copy of his stuff too.

 

Agreed on this album...much more depth to it than Arrows, but Arrows has its place...just like WLRRR (not one of my favourites but there are certain moments when I have to play it)

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I haven't listened to the album but Kid Down The Well is definitely an improvement over the demo.  I really like the accents of lap steel and Holly McNarland's backing vocals over the "sloooooow motion" parts, and the end has such a nice melodic sound.

Edited by Manchalivin

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I've listened to this a dozen or so times now, and after initially being underwhelmed a bit, I am beginning to appreciate the subtleties of the record.

 

In a lot of ways, this feels like a cross to me between Lights and Arrows, and while I love both of those records, they are both beautiful in that they are focused and contain a separate sonic texture.

 

Chaotic Nuetral is a very fitting title, as the songs are kind of all over the place, and the placement of Army of Tigers (with it's heavy handed, slick production) in between two of the albums most quite moments is almost jarring.

 

I like it, a lot.  And there are moments (like Los Alamos and Kid Down The Well) that are up there with my favorite of his career.  But I think this record will probably wind up sitting in the middle of the pack (along with Vancouver) when it is all said and done.

 

I very much respect Matt's vision and he is one of my favorite artists, but there is definitely a small piece of me that is still pining for a proper release of those demos as they had so much character and depth.

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I put in an inquiry to Maple Music regarding a digital download of the full album for those that pre-ordered the vinyl. I usually bought the CD in the past so this was never an issue before, but now the album came out on Friday and I only have the 4 songs that they sent us prior to release in digital for my iPod. Kind of annoyed/frustrated. I assume they don't answer questions over the weekend so I'm hoping to get some clarification tomorrow.

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The Bad

I don't know how you can say it lost something in the studio when the quality is better. You guys gotta maybe spin the demos less in anticipation of the albums.

 

I think they were referring to the lo-fi quality of the demo giving it a more raw feel. Just a subjective opinion; I happen to agree with it though. While the studio version is amazing, the extra guitar and its twang sound that was added in, while beautiful, sort of takes something away from the simplicity having just the piano being the driving force of the song. 

I find myself dealing with the same thing on No Liars. I still the love the song, and the verses are a huge improvement over the demo version (love the lead that  Sammy does after the first verse) but I honestly think the chorus in the demo had a lot more soul and focus with the lead guitar that was written as opposed to the studio version, despite the studio version being more polished.

Likewise, while I understand monetary constraints coming into play when it comes to recording a song like We Have Done This Before (and Matt not wanting to redo songs he has done before), I'm still bummed it and Night Orders never made the record. Those were fantastic songs and I really don't agree with Matt's criticism that sonically Night Orders didn't progress anywhere. 

The only other thing that bothers me about the album is Matt's use of the drums. For someone who is such a huge fan of Explosions in the Sky I'm always surprised he doesn't make more use of the drums as a way to climax on songs. For example, Cloudbusting has a great build, but never really reaches that peak it's running to. If he had gotten Blake to go heavier at the end (especially with the symbol crashes) it (and a few other songs such as Tiger by the Tail and Army of Lions) might have had even more of an impact than it does as a finalized version (despite the fact that it's still a great song).

The Good

I'm not complaining about getting to hear the demos though. I love that Matt gives us the chance to hear what the progressions are like and if he hadn't we wouldn't have gotten to hear We Have Done This Before...", or "Night Orders". Likewise, this way, we have the option of just listening to the demo versions if we like them better than the studio ones. Very cool. 

And overall, I find myself really appreciating the album the more I listen to it. The songs all seem to get better with each play and those are usually the types of albums that are the most solid and long lasting.  I was in the same position with Our Lady Peace's "Curve"- didn't think much of it at first, but the more I listened to it the more I found a lot more depth and craft to the songs than I initially gave it credit for. Best example of that here would be All You Sons and Daughters. I thought the song was very mundane the first time I listened to it, but the more I do listen, the more depth and appreciation I find for the simplicity of the song. And even without the bells, the production brings it to a whole other level than the demo versions.

Moment is another example of a song where I like it far more than the demo thanks to the work Warne did on it. I hated the demo version. I enjoyed the lyrics, but couldn't for the life of me figure why so many people thought a song with such a boring chord progression was so great. Sure, it's an uplifting song, but it's not like it was the first one Matt's ever wrote. But again, what Warne and Bones brought to the song seems to have bought it to another level and I can listen to it and appreciate what I think other people heard in the demo. Same thing goes for Tiger by the Tail. Didn't think much of the demo version, but I really love the studio version. 

As a matter of fact, the production on the entire record (with the exception of them over doing it on Cold Water) was fantastic. I heard another person mention they thought the placement of Army of Lions between Cold Water and Los Almos was a bad move and while I can understand why it would seem strange to some, I actually like it on a conceptual level. It's like the last battle before the end where there's only loss (Los Almos is probably one of the most haunting songs he's ever written too). No idea if that was Matt's intent in putting it there, but I still like to look at it that way. 

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Oh I know what they meant. I get it. There's been demos I thought were better in the past, like Black Helicopter and Fought to Fight it, but I wouldn't say any of the recent demos are better than the finished products on Chaotic Neutral. I really think people just gotta stop spoiling the album by listening to the demos too much. They're asking to be disappointed because something will always change in the translation in the studio.

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Guest girl

I really think people just gotta stop spoiling the album by listening to the demos too much. They're asking to be disappointed because something will always change in the translation in the studio.

 

Great advice as usual. I wil take it. I also remember you saying a lot of good things during that time when you said ___ is overrated. Well, you were right all along. I didn't see it at the time though.

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I don't remember saying anything like that >_>

 

I'm more concerned about getting my digital copy <_<

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I put in an inquiry to Maple Music regarding a digital download of the full album for those that pre-ordered the vinyl.

I'm in the same boat so I'll follow your lead when you get a response back. This is a different kind of stress compared to the days of waiting for A&B Sound or HMV to open, searching the aisles for the box containing the CD and getting out as quick as possible.

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Not a fan of maplemusic,

I never received a single downloadable song & nobody bothered to add me to the list even after I sent 2 emails.

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Received my autographed Chaotic Neutral CD from MapleMusic today!!

 

That was fast considering it was only released on Friday.

 

The CD also includes an insert/booklet with all the lyrics.

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I'm really glad I either didn't listen to the demos at all or only once when they were first posted. This was a great album to listen to going into it with minimal knowledge of what the songs are gonna sound like. I was so incredibly surprised/impressed by Cloudbusting and I wouldn't have had that same sense of wonder if I had listened to the demo for it.

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Received my autographed Chaotic Neutral CD from MapleMusic today!!

 

That was fast considering it was only released on Friday.

 

The CD also includes an insert/booklet with all the lyrics.

 

Really? That's odd. My friend purchased hers from HMV and she didn't get a booklet with the lyrics. I got my copy off iTunes and haven't gotten around to picking up the hard copy yet, but I will. Maybe I should order it from MapleMusic. I hate it when CDs don't come with lyrics.

Edited by jackwork

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I was just about to say that my copy from HMV doesn't have lyrics, that's awesome my other signed copy I'm about to get in the mail is unique though. 

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Wasn't there an insert in the left sleeve?

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Wasn't there an insert in the left sleeve?

 

Yes, that's what my CD from MapleMusic has, I would assume it's the same for all CD's?

Really? That's odd. My friend purchased hers from HMV and she didn't get a booklet with the lyrics. I got my copy off iTunes and haven't gotten around to picking up the hard copy yet, but I will. Maybe I should order it from MapleMusic. I hate it when CDs don't come with lyrics.

 

Double check, the booklet is inside the left (cover) side of the CD

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There's an insert but it doesn't have lyrics. 

For the HMV version. 

 

Strange Days indeed!

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My copy came in the mail yesterday too.  Pretty sweet.


Received my autographed Chaotic Neutral CD from MapleMusic today!!

 

That was fast considering it was only released on Friday.

 

The CD also includes an insert/booklet with all the lyrics.

 

My copy came today as well.  Pretty sweet.

 

The stores all get this kind of stuff (CD's, games, etc.) a few days before the release, so I'm sure they started to ship them out before the release date.

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