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November’s Album of the Month is none other than WERS’s own Music for the Independent Mind: Volume 7. Our goal here at the station is for you, as a valued listener, to discover your new favorite musician or band, and with this CD it is almost a guarantee you will find it. Each song on the album was performed live and mixed in our own studio, ensuring that the quality is up to the standards that we know our listeners deserve. The variety on this compilation album is astounding, and I found myself loving every song after a few listens.
What makes it so lovable is simply how uncut and raw the feel of the whole album is. For each of these songs, the individual artist came directly to our studio, sat down, and played through it — with no stops or heavy editing. That “live” sound that provokes you to go to see your favorite band in concert is present in every song on the album, but the quality does not falter because of it. Still not convinced? Just wait until you hear the lineup.
A few songs will immediately grab your intention as you begin your preliminary listen of the album. “Down In the Valley” by The Head And The Heart is one such piece. The song starts off with a very simplistic feel and seems to build up until Josiah Johnson’s voice is permeating with emotion, vocal harmonies echo lyrics, and a lone violin is soloing over everything. By the time Johnson repeats the beginning line, “I wish I was a slave of an age old trade…” at the end, exhaustion has set because of how much feeling this one song exudes. “Country Girl” by Carolina Chocolate Drops tells the story of a girl and her remembrance of her roots in the south. This story told on top of a multitude of stringed instruments makes this song quite a gem in itself. The old fashioned bluegrass sound in this song is something very rarely heard in today’s current neo-folk craze.
One song that must also be mentioned right away is James Mercer’s (The lead singer for The Shins) acoustic rendition of “Simple Song” off of their album Port of Morrow. To hear Mercer’s voice stripped bare behind an acoustic guitar is something truly magnificent, and something very rare to find on any other CD. Songs like “Emmylou” by First Aid Kit, “If I Wanted Someone” by Dawes, and “Cheerleader” by St. Vincent give the listener some nice, relaxing vocals backed by slow and intricate guitar while songs like “Heaven” by The Walkmen and “Hurry Hurry” by Air Traffic Controller give the listener a quirky, fun twist that will have your feet thumping to the beat. Now, include Emerson’s own Eric Hutchinson’s rendition of “Watching You Watching Him” which will immediately have you humming any of Bob Dylan’s earlier tunes, and Mariami’s beautifully played and heartfelt ballad, “To Say,” and you’ll begin to understand why this album has been declared album of the month. To finish the whole compilation off, Will Dailey and Jessie Dee sing a wonderful duet in the form of “No Expectations” over simple, yet powerful guitar. By the end of this song, you’ll immediately want to hear the whole album over again.
The outstanding uniqueness and variety on this album makes it a clear and obvious choice for album of the month. Each song is so different and new, yet they all seem to flow so well together, one after the other. The sound is unique, the genre is varied, the quality is guaranteed, and the hard work and dedication that goes into making a great album is clearly present.
If you enjoyed this album, or enjoy music from some of the theater shows that you may have come to know and love, then check out our other compilation CD, WERS Presents: Standing Room Only, which you can receive the same way you receive Volume 7, by pledging your membership to WERS! On this compilation, hits from shows like Little Shop of Horrors, Les Miserables, and Rent will have you belting out your favorite Broadway numbers. I myself have never been much of a showtunes listener myself, but after giving this album a chance, I found these songs have their own spunk and genuine sound that makes them catchy to listen to. Standing Room Only has always been a valued block on the WERS line-up, and now you can show your love for them as well by taking advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity!
All of us here at WERS feel so blessed to have such an amazing group of listeners and fans tuning in every day, and this album is our chance to give back and show everyone that their dedication has not gone unnoticed. WERS’s own Music for the Independent Mind: Volume 7 is our way of saying “Thank you” to everyone who has given us their much appreciated attention, and we can’t wait to hear what you have to say about it.
Support WERS with a minimum pledge of $75 to receive your copy of Music for the Independent Mind: Volume 7 today!