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Secrets of the New Explorers - EP

Glen Phillips

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Customer Reviews

A Truly Unique Series of Soundscapes

The latest release from Glen Phillips defies description. While the songs all share a common science-fiction bond, each track is wildly different from the last one. I mean that, however, in the best of ways. Each track is refreshingly unique, which makes this EP completely unlike anything Phillips has released in the past. The album opens with "They'll Find Me," which features a vocal blend of Glen and a synth response that kicks in mid-way through the track. "They'll Find Me" details the actions taken by an alien abductee once they return to Earth. The track is lush and haunting, using Glen's voice altered by a synthesizer to cover the voices of the "visitors." As the story concludes, the Earth man breaks away from the other Earth ships in hopes that the visitors will fulfill their promise to him: "we will find you/we will not forget you." Track two is "Solar Flare" which is one of the first (if not only) songs about radiation sickness. It's a mostly acoustic number that channels Glen's voice through both speakers in order to create a different vocal aesthetic. The song is funny in a sick way, as the seeming take on the children's story, Goodnight Moon, deterioriates into a tale of mankind being forced to say: "good night teeth, good night hair/you were taken by the solar flare." "Return to Me" is a meandering ballad that tells the tale of a man who takes his cheating wife into space in order to win her back: "Will you think of him here?/When I've taken you so far?/And I have made you mine, dear/Beneath the naked stars." The lyrics are full of wondrous imagery depicting a couple floating in space. "Space Elevator" is a rock track. The drums and electric guitar dominate the song, while Phillips describes a spectacular trip from Earth to space. "You're gonna love it here" he proclaims, "You undress in the mesosphere/Get so hot in the thermosphere/You know what's comin' in the exosphere..." It's a lyrical treat that will take you from the ground to unknown heights...only to drop you right back where you started. If I had to pick a standout track on the album, it would be "The Spirit of Shackleton." Perhaps Phillips' most creative track yet, "Shackleton" is the best Postal Service-style song you've never heard. Drum beats, chimes, and ambient swells make this song into a swirling, multi-layered techno tune that will leave you breathless. The lyrics depict the bleak one-way journey of a man selected to travel to the deepest regions of space: "I'm not coming back from here/I've come too far/I'm cold, but I'm not scared." The last section of the song is instrumental, which gives the listener plenty of time to digest this deep, heavy song. Phillips ends the album with "A Dream." It is a lullaby for the Earth, which has been left ravaged and ruined. Slowly, he reveals that the planet has been abandoned for the most part, leaving only a few humans left during the Earth's (presumable) last days: "Empty cities/Rising seas/Room for hope and simple dreams/They can have the moon and stars/What they've left is only ours." The song ends after a minute and a half, leaving ten seconds before a static interruption breaks the silence, relaying a message from the hopeful final survivors: "Life is but a dream/But now we wake up." It's a beautiful album from start to finish. You won't be disappointed.

Interesting concept and great sounding record

I'm a longtime fan of Glen's music, but I have to admit that when I first heard about this I wondered whether I would like it--it's a concept record about space explorers. But, after listening to it, the songs have really grabbed me. As a bonus, the production is really interesting. I like this much more than "Unlucky 7". I wish it was a full-length record. Very well done.

Fantastic!

I'm a fan of music of different genres and this is an awesome fusion of such kind. Awesome job Glen!! Hope to see more work like it! I'm sure that the crowd will love it if you bring this to Largo when you're in town. :)

Biography

Born: December 29, 1970 in Santa Barbara, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Born in Santa Barbara, CA, Glen Phillips served as the frontman and main songwriter for Toad the Wet Sprocket before launching his solo career in 2001. Toad the Wet Sprocket took shape in 1986, when Phillips was only 14 years old, and the band's debut effort, Bread and Circus, earned them a contract with Columbia Records. However, it was the group's third album — the jangling, orchestral Fear — that truly broke the group, garnering heavy radio play with the singles "All I Want" and "Walk...
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Secrets of the New Explorers - EP, Glen Phillips
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