Calvin Johnson - A Wonderful Beast
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, TN. Working closely with producer Patrick Carney and chief engineer Marc Whitmore, the team tested the resiliency of such time honored 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.
Calvin Johnson has been an influential figure in the international pop underground for the past four decades, as a musician and singer in bands such as Beat Happening, Halo Benders, Dub Narcotic Sound System, as a producer, and as label boss of K Records. A Wonderful Beast sees him handing over the production role, and the result is possibly the most commercial-sounding and radio-friendly album he's ever been associated with, though the songs, delivered with his trademark baritone and off-kilter vocal rhythms are unmistakably Calvin.
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, OH 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 launch 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.
Kiss Me Sweetly
A Wonderful Beast
Like You Do
Wherefore Art Thou
Are We Ready
Bubbles, Clouds And Rainbows
Blues Come Runnin'
Why You Crying
Another Teardrop Falls
When The Weekend Comes Around
(I've Still Got) Sand In My Shoes
Calvin Johnson - What Was Me LP | CD
Beat Happening - Black Candy LP
Beat Happening - Crashing Through 7" EP
Beat Happening - Music To Climb The Apple Tree By CD
Beat Happening - We Are Beat Happening 7LP boxset
Halo Benders - The Rebels Not In LP | CASSETTE
K Records collection