From out of nowhere, Noise Addict's it was never about the audience has come along to become one of the best albums I have heard this year, free or not. This is a collection of 15 songs in various eclectic styles, many of which are very catchy. After one listen to the album, two songs really stuck in my head, and they stayed there until I listened to it again; I listen to an awful lot of music, so for anything to be this memorable, it has to be pretty special. One of these songs was "Big Ups", which features barbershop-esque backup vocals ("da doooo BOP!", etc.), a drumbeat that occasionally stutters, and a soaring chorus. The other was "Lasagne", which features songwriter Ben Lee's 7-year-old stepdaughter on lead vocals; the impromptu nature of the song and all of the laughter in the vocals makes it a joy to listen to.
Subsequent listens to the album have revealed more gems. The opening track, "That's How It Goes", takes a quirky look at the life of musicians, with lyrics like "Bands keep making music 'cause they didn't go to college, and as people are not suited to working in an office." The multilayered, lower-register vocals in "Get Well" remind me of Brad Sucks. "The Faster Side of Normal" adds strings to the mix, to absolutely beautiful effect. "I Heart Your Band" marries a garage rock sound with lyrics about a fan's undying love for a band, even during such periods when they thought they were U2 or added a horn section.
The album closes with "Let's Do Our Thing", which is unlike anything I've ever heard before. The verses are instrumental, with understated guitar solos taking the usual place of vocals, while the choruses feature layers of vocals, piano, and other effects. It has such a warm, gorgeous sound, but it really needs to be heard to be believed - it's that unique.
it was never about the audience can be downloaded in a variety of formats; the default is 320k MP3, which weighs in at 80 MB, but "Audiophiles and Nerds" may wish to download it in other bitrates (I chose VBR high), or in other formats such as FLAC, OGG, or Apple Lossless. An email address is required, which subscribes you to the Noise Addict mailing list, but they say that you can unsubscribe from it at any time. Happy listening!