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nurktwin

Your H E Fav

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Most days I'd say Fault Lines.

 

However, other days I'd say Shadow People. Some days it's Sins of My Youth. U Get Me High? It has happened at least once that I'd said All You Can Carry or American Dream Plan B.

 

It's pretty pretty top heavy, this album. Great songs en masse, IMO.

 

Worth mentioning is what I think is a sadly overlooked and the seemingly most underrated song in the set: Full Grown Boy. Not sure I've ever heard Petty go there before and I'm surprised at how much I like it.

 

So.. today I say: Full Grown Boy

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1.Fault Lines. 2.Forgotten Man. 3.America Dream Plan B. 4. All You Can Carry 5. Red River. 6. U Get Me High. 7. Shadow People. 8. Power Drunk. 9. Playing Dumb. 10. Burnt Out Town. 11. Full Grown Boy. 12. Sins of my Youth

 

The top 6 change daily, but I think Fault Lines is my favorite

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Fault Lines is incredible.

 

Album sounds like Highway Companion meets Mojo.

 

Even at this point, the band is growing and expanding. Indicative of a truly exceptional group of musicians.

 

Lyrically, all on HE are so strong--Tom's really stepped it up!  (That was my only criticism of Mojo.)

 

Musically, gotta go with Fault Lines. #2? Have to think some more. Really hard decision. But that's a good thing!

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'All You Can Carry' just smacked me upside the head from the first time I heard it!  I can't let it play just once and must 'repeat' at least three times, be it in the car on my iPod or on the CD player in the art studio.  That first line "I saw a ghost by the road tonight..." followed by that blast of sound, ahhhh some good Southern gothic imagery and powerhouse guitar.  Absolutely adore it.

'Red River' and 'American Dream Plan B' round out the top three for me, followed by 'U Get Me High' and 'Fault Lines', which has the best lyrics somehow.

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To be honest, Hypnotic songs are good but not "addictive" for me. I can't choose the best one, I think "Burnt Out Town", "Red River" and "U Get Me High" are a bit better than others. It's easier for me to pick songs I don't enjoy and these are "Sins of My Youth" and "All You Can Carry".

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Okay, I can break it down to one now.

If I had to choose one song from the album and dismiss all others, it would be "Shadow People".

The 5.1 Mix on the BluRay did it for me. That song has it all. Everybody in the band has their moment on it, still there's so much air, so much space in it. It's got a prologue and an epilogue (which still doesn't quite get me, but what the heck). It's a whole drama packed in 6 minutes and something.

And, Ryan, it should be #1 on your list of most scary/spooky TPATH songs. :-)

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Shadow People all day all night every day and every night! :) In my opinion easily the best TPATHB song in the last 16 years. The best 'band song' on any album after Echo album release. There are some other very good tracks on HE too, many mentioned above but I don't like the minamalist tin like production sound on the album. TPATHB always need an external independent stand alone producer to get the best out of them in my view. This album is a prime example, even though I do respect the ''lets take a basic minamilist vibe to the sound of the whole album'' type concept, i think it could have been better realised by an external producer like Rick Rubin or Glyn Johns. 

 

What nailed it for me was hearing Shadow People live during last years tour. A very special song.  I too don't wait for the epilogue at the end of the song, but I do appreciate the hopeful spirit and message behind the epilogue. 

 

This album should be great, could be great, has a lot of nearly great things, indeed some stand alone great aspects in certain aspects but fails to stick together in a satisfactory manner, the total sum is less than the individual parts, even within individual songs, i'm on record as being fine with a collection of songs on an album that are individually good but don't necessarily stick together collectively, but HE just does not pass enough fundamentals in it's overall production sound for me.

 

I want to love it, but it just ultimately lets me down as an album. 

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Regarding Shadow People, I really love the outro but I'm also fond of the intro; it doesn't seem to get mentioned very often. Probably because of its brevity; yet it's so well done! It promises something interesting to follow.

 

My only criticism of  is that I would've enjoyed a double time outro before the very end.

 

Not one of my favorites but a good song and a good choice to close the album. 

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I want to love it, but it just ultimately lets me down as an album.

Fair enough, like always, discussing production and sound of various albums is interesting, but a lot of what you say here, to me it's pure crazy talk. :)

"Minimalistic" perhaps, but I don't, at all, understand, or even hear the cold or "tin" aspect of the HE sound sometimes mentioned. Sounds mostly like plastic free, intense rock to me, if that is what gives you a sense of metallic cans..? ;) What's more - to me HE is among the most beautifully realized in all of the catalogue, both in terms of parts and sum, both in terms of material and sound/production. Simply brilliant, most of it. And a very effective album, perhaps especially so from a vinyl point of view, with the two archs that is the a and b sides.. an art form not always carried out to perfection, or even kept in mind these days. -- Still I have a hard time picking one fav song of the batch. That said, I too would enjoy hearing what some of my fav producers would have made of the material, sure.

Ok, just had to disagree. To each their own. :)

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I gave the album several more tries over the past months, but it just won't work for me. I'm glad to read that dollardime seems to have similar problems, I don't like the sound either, for one, but also still have my troubles with the songwriting (as I pointed out earlier). A new producer could have helped, maybe. It was Rubin who drove Petty to write another song and yet another song when they already had enough by other people's standards. Springsteen still tries a new producer every now and then, first Brendan O'Brien and then Ron Aniello; it probably wouldn't hurt if Tom would do the same (not necessarily with those two).

Still, Shadow People definitely is my favorite and ranks among petty's greatest songs of all time. But in my opinion, no other track from HE comes close to that mark.

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I was walking along side the 'red river' on Monday in the evening sunshine listening to HE recently and it suddenly hit me!

 

Light bulb / drum roll moment coming up here :)

 

Couldn't quite put my finger on it until now but the main problem with and reason for my misgivings about the production sound on HE is that you can't hear enough of Benmont. It really is as simple and as complicated as that. It is quite striking to my ears if you listen to the album that there is a distinct lack of keyboard/organ on the album. When you do hear Benmont it is a sparse, two or three note 'ding ding ding' type affair for the most part....left hand side of the keyboard dark/bass notes. HE for whatever reason lacks the vibrancy and colour and knitting everything together sound that Benmont always brings to the table and that is such a vital and vibrant aspect of the TPATHB sound. Benmont for me has always delivered in spades in terms of his contribution down through the years (for me Benmont is actually the glue that makes the TPATHB sound stick together, it's very clear when you listen to bootleg live shows especially, he knows when to play and when not to play...another topic perhaps)

 

So that being said, I would contend that this is a production sound issue...in going down the sparse, minimalistic bass heavy route in mixing the album, the keyboards lost out in both emphesis and placement in the soundboard mix. There are actually some very interesting bass lines that are very prominent in the sound board mix on the album that I enjoyed, maybe that was the sound they were going for on this particular album.

 

You can't have a great TPATHB sounding record without the warmth that Benmonts keys brings to the central waves of the sound board mix when the keys are needed, and that is ultimately where the album falls down in my opinion.

 

I have yet to hear HE on vinyl yet, just on CD .....so if Benmont comes out crystal clear on vinyl on this record then that's another story on sound compression techniques.

 

Recording an album between tours over a long period of time as HE was, would also bring challenges/problems in terms of song writing mood, and stylistics and all the other disjointed aspects that brings. An external producer or lack thereof would also be in the 'mix' so to speak.

 

It's a tough business making albums and I'm glad HE made it out there, but Benmont's keys didn't make it out there enough on the production mix of this album! :D

 

I've no doubt Benmont was playing his heart out in serving the song requirements on the album when it was being recorded, but I don't hear the fruits of his work on this album because of the way that it was recorded / mixed.

 

Or maybe they just rolled the tape up to a certain point (Shadow People, Full Grown Boy and Sins Of My Youth being a nice exception where you can hear the keys and what a positive difference that makes) and asked Benmont to play 'Ding Ding Ding' at certain places similiar to ITGWO! 

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Couldn't quite put my finger on it until now but the main problem with and reason for my misgivings about the production sound on HE is that you can't hear enough of Benmont.

Ah, yes. Big Ben. That is all very interesting, actually. And well put. Being a bit of a Ben man myself, I very much agree with what you say about 'Ben the glue'. Much like TP phrasing, Ben's smooth work always add magic, sometimes in your face and a lot of the time very much in the shadows or in the fine prints. Making all the difference, really. Can't be stated enough.

And I too have been noticing the same thing about HE. But I rather see the album as the unexpected exception from the rule, w/r/t Ben. That is, for once I'm fine with how the songs and the sound work with this lesser pronounced Benness. (Which is not to say that they they could've worked, if differently, with more contributions i/t/o keys, something I think these songs could be treated with, for variation and exploration, in a live setting - should most of these songs ever get played live, that is..)

That said, I'm not sure it's about the mix. At least not entirely. Like you imply at the end of your post, I think that at least for several of the songs they just had Ben add fitting stuff sporadically, rather than him playing all over the album only to be mixed down or edited out at the end. At least that would be my guess, seems like the material took that route and that they were bent on a certain vibe this time. Too bad in a way, still.. like I said, somewhat against my own judgement, I think it's the first time it works pretty well with so little Ben. Besides.. no wonder Ben had time to finish his long awaited solo album in the meantime.. :D

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