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Soft Commands
     

Soft Commands

by Ken Stringfellow
 

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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

Overview

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/13/2008
Label:
Rykodisc Uk
UPC:
0014431069321
catalogNumber:
693

Tracks

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
Mark Taylor   Alto Saxophone
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
Emily McIntosh   Vocals

Technical Credits

Barbara Mitchell   Advisor
Ken Stringfellow   Composer,Programming,Producer,Audio Production,Scenery
Kip Beelman   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
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
Jorgen Wall   Audio Production

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