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Album Review

Officially, Nude is VAST's first release in over four years, and his first for the new Carson Daly-affiliated imprint 456. But longtime fans will recognize its tracks as fleshed-out versions of tracks previously issued as Internet-only demos by VAST main brain Jon Crosby. Whereas 2000's Music for People more directly blended Crosby's progressive flourishes with a strident pop voice akin to P.I.L.'s later incarnations, Nude largely retools VAST's self-titled 1998 debut for the new century. Adorned with moody, classicist frescoes and rife with spiritual lyrical imagery, the album echoes with worldly orchestrations and a grave demeanor even as it courts melodic post-grunge rock. It's a bold mix but one that's also problematic. Crosby is a talented producer and arranger, so his faraway vocal choirs and manipulated sound effects have the ability to evoke the unsettling tension that once tinged Coil's dark electronic experiments. Unfortunately, those atmospherics deflate in the face of guitar-heavy modern rock appliqués ("Japanese Fantasy," "I Need to Say Goodbye") or stilted Stain-style soul-searching ("Be With Me"). It becomes a forced hybrid, unable to retain its Dead Can Dance-style austerity amid the broader signature of modern rock. This means songs like "Turquoise" and "Thrown Away" are some of Nude's stronger moments since both rumble with throaty rock pacing but are still tinged with enough bizarre electronic squiggles or processed vocal exotica to be unique. Crosby has never sounded more like Bono than in the lush landscape of "Lost" or over the plaintive piano and treated guitars of "Candle," and the late-album standout "I Can't Say No (To You)" is a respectable run at sensual downtempo electronica. VAST aficionados should certainly enjoy Nude, educated as they are about Crosby's highly stylized approach. But the casual listener might be unsure what to make of the album's baroque, high-concept cocktail.

Customer Reviews

Amazing. Beautiful music lost in a world of garbage.

There really isnt anyone out there doing much different, not a lot of exploration. Then we have VAST (aka Jon Crosby). This (and other VAST albums) mix tastes of electronics with traditional rock instruments, and even go beyond the guitar to the other stringed instruments. Invite this sound with Jon's amazing vocal range, and you've got the best artist of the last decade; right next to Trent Reznor. VAST's albums always include softer and perhaps a bit dark music with up tempo acoustic rock, that just works. VAST is amazing, and highly under-rated. Dont let this masterpiece escape your collection. I'm more for the up tempo songs, so my faves include: Turquoise, thrown away, be with me, i need to say goodbye, but rest assured, this whole album is pure musical genius.

I love this album

I have been waiting for iTunes to come out with this album for two years. The song "Thrown Away" is an anthem for those who feel left out in the cold. And there is plenty remedy for says the song. -ryan

Just to inform people

I would like to say first of all that I have been listing to VAST since the release of their first album, V.A.S.T. Making me a fan of 7 or 8 years. And since the first album, VAST has come a long way from songs like "Pretty When You Cry", which is one of my favs. And to hear the music change and morph into something new from album to album is an amazing thing. I own all 5 of the VAST albums plus the "A Complete Demonstration" album which has all the demo work from the first album. And I'm looking into getting another VAST remix album. And I give all 5 stars to every album. And for people to bash VAST because they are changing their music is sad. I know very few people that have ever heard of VAST, and when I come across someone, it's the best thing in the world to talk about the progression of their music. But that’s the great thing about this wonderful world we live in...We all can think/say what we'd like. But as I type this listening to the Nude album, all the stress and horrors of the world melt away. And then smell of a mid winters rain fills my room, relaxing every nerve in my body. And the worlds evils...just wash away. Give it a chance. Listen to the album about 5 times in a row. It'll grow on you. I swear. :)


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

VAST is comprised of one man and one man only: Jon Crosby. The songwriter grew up in Humboldt County, CA, and was profiled as a promising guitarist in Guitar Player Magazine at the age of 13. He was nearly signed to the guitar-based label Shrapnel, but he turned down the offer and focused on honing his songwriting chops instead. Crosby soon left high school to do home study, and he began assembling a band in order to perform some demos he recorded all by himself, under the name VAST. Although he...
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Nude, VAST
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