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A Thousand Days

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Album Review

Mitchell Froom is best known as a sideman and a collaborator, having produced albums for dozens of artists (from industry heavyweights like Paul McCartney to cult heroes such as American Music Club) and sat in on many more. When Froom has stepped forward as a performer, he's often done so while sharing the stage with others, such as his Latin Playboys material, written and recorded in collaboration with David Hidalgo from Los Lobos, and his 1998 album Dopamine, in which each tune was created in tandem with another artist. A Thousand Days is the first album in which Froom has presented what is thoroughly and clearly his own musical vision, and it may or may not surprise folks to know that all by his lonesome he doesn't seem to have much to say. Instead of assembling the layers of tape-loop keyboards and vintage electronics that have given his productions their trademark personality, A Thousand Days features just Froom at an acoustic piano performing 14 simple original pieces, and stripped of the sound that is his hallmark, A Thousand Days offers you a man noodling at a keyboard, performing pleasant but aimless melodies that seem stuck somewhere between smooth jazz stripped of its sense of musical challenge and new age without being quite so easy to ignore. These skeletal piano works are created with too much craft to be entirely dismissed, but they don't have enough force in them to truly compel a listener for very long — A Thousand Days is lovely background music, but that's about all there is to be said for it. Too bad he didn't bring along some friends to give these sounds the body and soul they need.


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s

The idiosyncratic Mitchell Froom was among the most acclaimed and eclectic producers of his era, with a résumé which included acts ranging from Los Lobos to Cibo Matto to his wife, Suzanne Vega. Beginning his career as a versatile session player noted primarily for his keyboard prowess, Froom initially attracted attention with his 1984 solo debut The Key of Cool, used as the soundtrack to the film Cafe Flesh. His first significant outside production work appeared on the Del Fuegos' 1985 LP Boston,...
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A Thousand Days, Mitchell Froom
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