Soft Commands [Bonus Tracks]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
Ex-Posies frontman Ken Stringfellow returns for another round of intricate pop
ock confections with the FM-ready Soft Commands. This time around, the singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist broadens his horizons with forays into Burt Bacharach soft rock, soul, and even dub. Writing and recording all over the world -- New York, Senegal, Stockholm, Seattle, Paris, Vancouver, and Hollywood -- Stringfellow has concocted a frustratingly obtuse record that's as beautiful and bold as it is shapeless and erratic. Soft Commands plays like a compilation, taking on Jackson Browne pop ("You Drew"), experimental reggae ("You Became the...
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This CD (Bonus Tracks) is Not Available through BN.com

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
Ex-Posies frontman Ken Stringfellow returns for another round of intricate pop
ock confections with the FM-ready Soft Commands. This time around, the singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist broadens his horizons with forays into Burt Bacharach soft rock, soul, and even dub. Writing and recording all over the world -- New York, Senegal, Stockholm, Seattle, Paris, Vancouver, and Hollywood -- Stringfellow has concocted a frustratingly obtuse record that's as beautiful and bold as it is shapeless and erratic. Soft Commands plays like a compilation, taking on Jackson Browne pop ("You Drew"), experimental reggae ("You Became the Dawn"), and heavily orchestrated Phil Spector bliss ("When You Find Someone") with varying results -- the latter sounds like a sequel to the Walker Brothers' 1966 classic "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore." Stringfellow's crystal-clear vocals have always been among his stronger attributes, and they couldn't be any better on tracks like the gorgeous and epic closer "Death of a City," but when he attempts a multi-note soul croon on the bluesy "Let Me Do," the cool confidence that rings true within the confines of his pop material is rendered shaky and thin by a milieu he may be better off appreciating from afar. Soft Commands is full of the intricate arrangements and clever wordplay that power pop fans have come to expect from the artist, and nowhere is that more apparent than on the serpentine rocker "Don't Die," a heavy, complex, and blissfully Posie-esque rumination on death that requires several listens before attaching itself to your brain like a remora to a shark. It's a reminder that despite the occasional deviation, Stringfellow is still capable of balancing beauty and danger within the confines of the four-minute pop song, and for fans of melodic rock everywhere, that's a damn good thing. [The 2004 edition includes bonus tracks.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/13/2008
  • Label: Video Arts Japan
  • EAN: 4988112414822
  • Catalog Number: 1287

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ken Stringfellow Primary Artist, Organ, Synthesizer, Bass, Guitar, Mandolin, Percussion, Piano, Autoharp, Cymbals, Drums, Keyboards, Tambourine, Vocals, Vibes, Guiro, Omnichord
Jay Thomas Trumpet
Jill Sobule Drums
Craig Flory Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Larry Knechtel Organ, Bass, Piano, Electric Piano
Bill Rieflin Drums
Fred Chalenor Bass
Chris Stover Trombone
Sarah Edin Violin
Pelle Halvarsson Cello, Theremin
Tiffany Wilson Vocals
Phil Peterson Cello
John Roderick Acoustic Guitar
Kathrine Bergström Laughs
Technical Credits
Neil Young Composer
Barbara Mitchell Advisor
Peter Buck Composer
Mike Mills Composer
Michael Stipe Composer
Ken Stringfellow Composer, Programming, Producer, Scenery
Stevie Wonder Composer
Rick Fisher Mastering
Bill Berry Composer
Kip Beelman Producer, Engineer
Kevin French Booking
David "Hot Rod" Shuman Engineer
Bootsy Holler Art Direction
James Alderman Booking
Phil Peterson Arranger
Larry Luther Engineer
Eric Leonard Graphic Design
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