Monday, April 17, 2006

Music Review – “Ultimatum” - The Long Winters

Twenty-eight years ago I wrote an article for my College newspaper about a new young musician named Elvis Costello and his band the Attractions and their first album. My original response then was that he would survive that very long list of new wave bands and would be creating great music for an exceedingly long time to come. This prediction was based on the talent and unique sound that I heard in every song. This was my very first accurate forecasting of the future. I’m going to make a prediction again… Twenty years from now The Long Winters (in whatever incarnation survives) will be around to entertain us and will be performing great music.

I’ve never been known to use the word pretty when describing the music that I listen to. However, the song “Ultimatum” by The Long Winters may just be the prettiest and most appealing song that I’ve heard in the past few years. When you hear the lyrics “My arms miss you, my hands miss you, the stars sing I’ve got their song in my head” you know he means every word of it. My first thought was, “Wow, great poetry!” and my second was “Damn, I wish I’d written that!”

When asked about the meaning of this song songwriter John Roderick pointed out that it was mostly about “being with someone” and that during the process of getting to know someone new, the words, I love you, somehow transforms the passion in a relationship to something else entirely.

Enveloped in string ambiance, synthesizers and acoustic and electric fingerpicking “Ultimatum” is filled with the verse of naked confessions and intense and mischievous suggestion given to us in absolute crisp crystal-clear voices. The harmonizing reveals an astonishing vocal precision and is, quite simply, beautifully mixed with a touch of bitter-sweetness that is almost impossible to find in rock music today. Is this a sign of remarkable (and pretty) things to come? Again, I predict that it is!

Current band members include: John Roderick, songwriter and guitarist; Eric Corson, bass and harmony vocals; Mike Squires, guitar and keyboards; and Nabil Ayers, drums.

P.S. I still have the original music review from my school newspaper… I keep it neatly tucked into the slipcover of the first Elvis Costello vinyl recording in my collection.

  • The Long Winters

  • * The Alternative One

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