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Half Hours With the Lower Creatures

Rachel Taylor Brown

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Album Review

After looking at the cover of Rachel Taylor Brown's enigmatically titled Half Hours with the Lower Creatures, a headless body with a face drawn on its chest, one is not quite sure what to expect musically. And perhaps this is exactly why Brown chose the cover art she chose: the opening "Hemocult/I Care About You" is as enigmatically strange in a musical sense as the cover art is in a pictorial one. Technically, "Hemocult/I Care About You" lacks all of the normal things one expects from a song — like vocals, lyrics, and a melody. Instead, one has something akin to the strange interludes placed between songs on Pink Floyd's The Wall, with telephones ringing, bells sounding, ghostly vocalizing, and other odds and sods that unfold for seven minutes. The experiment is followed by "You're Alright Sorla One" which, in comparison, sounds very much like a song, albeit an odd one that only lasts for a little over a minute. The third cut, "Stagg Field," manages to split the difference between bombastic and melodic pop, verging from simple instrumentation to a kitchen-sink arrangement. One might argue that Half Hours with the Lower Creatures is the kind of album one endures rather than enjoys — however, Brown realizes that there are plenty of normal albums for normal people already crowding the bins at the local record store. To borrow from Monty Python, Half Hours with the Lower Creatures is "something completely different," odd but intriguing, challenging but never boring, just as its cover suggests. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Customer Reviews

Absolutely Masterful! Not a Second of Sound Wasted.

I frequent her website and just now realized she was right here on ITunes. When I heard her for the first time about 2 years ago, she literally changed the way I think about music. Rachel Taylor Brown has been among the few consistent sources of inspiration to me, and I strongly encourage you to buy her music; I guarantee you'll never get bored with it... HALF HOURS WITH THE LOWER CREATURES is modern musical pop art at its complete potential. The arrangements are truly exciting, and, besides the work Milton Nascimento, XTC, and maybe Claude Debussy, these are possibly the smartest melodies ever written. Lest not forget her incredibly precise, and achingly soulful vocal creations. A Truly Unique Artist. Give Her Some More Attention, People! This is priceless art for sale...


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Portland, OR, singer, songwriter, and pianist Rachel Taylor Brown has a quirky alt-pop sound that merges a dark blend of chamber music with an almost glam-tinged arena rock ambience, all driven by eccentric lyrics that tackle difficult (and often unpleasant) subjects, leading one critic to label her style as "creep rock." Brown began playing piano by ear as a child, officially starting lessons on the instrument at six years old, but she always maintained a decidedly maverick approach to music, eventually...
Full Bio
Half Hours With the Lower Creatures, Rachel Taylor Brown
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music
  • Released: Feb 11, 2008

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