Man on the Burning Tightrope

Man on the Burning Tightrope

by Firewater
     
 

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Not so much a theater of the absurd as a carnival of the ridiculous, The Man on the Burning Tightrope finds Firewater continuing in the vein of their previous albums, although calling the phrase "business as usual" does a disservice to its distinctly unusual results. With each release, Tod A. and company grow more and more eclectic,See more details below

Overview

Not so much a theater of the absurd as a carnival of the ridiculous, The Man on the Burning Tightrope finds Firewater continuing in the vein of their previous albums, although calling the phrase "business as usual" does a disservice to its distinctly unusual results. With each release, Tod A. and company grow more and more eclectic, and The Man on the Burning Tightrope is no exception. Beginning with "Fanfare," it's apparent that Firewater have embraced the music of the circus, adding dramatic drum rolls that suggest trapeze artists swinging through the air as well as the titular tightrope walker; "Too Many Angels"' eerie pipe organs and xylophones sound like a carnival after hours; and the reprises of early songs at the end of the album add to its revue-like feel. This tragicomic mix of circus and cabaret, coupled with the band's typically sardonic, world-weary rock, makes The Man on the Burning Tightrope Firewater's most atmospheric album to date. While this softens the blow of their music and A.'s lyrics somewhat, their impact is still impressive: "Anything At All"'s Latin-inspired beat sounds relatively upbeat, but its acidic guitars and sentiments like "All over the world/winners are cheating/losers are weeping/they take anything at all" are anything but. Conversely, "Dark Days Indeed" begins as a sneering tango and ends up as a party ("It's hard to dance when you're down upon your knees"), while "The Truth Hurts"' answering machine message moves from funny to scary to sad. The Man on the Burning Tightrope's balance grows a little precarious by the album's second half; while detours into country ("Secret") and lounge and hot jazz ("The Vegas Strip") keep things interesting, the album begins to feel a little long and flat by the time songs like "Don't Make It Stop" roll around. Indeed, while the most conventionally rock songs on the album are quite good, the tracks that deliver on The Man on the Burning Tightrope's theatrical side are arguably the best. The title track, the aforementioned "Too Many Angels," and "The Notorious & Legendary Dog & Pony Show" boast equal amounts of sarcasm and showmanship, a mix that suits these pointed vignettes of the world's increasing absurdity perfectly. So, while not all of the album is executed with the greatest of ease, the skill and wit Firewater bring to The Man on the Burning Tightrope still make it a compelling album.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/17/2003
Label:
Jet Set Records
UPC:
0604978005427
catalogNumber:
780054

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Firewater   Primary Artist
Tod A.   Bass,Bouzouki,Vocals,Voices,Mellotron,Loops,Bazouki,Distortion
Paul Wallfisch   Organ,Piano,Celeste,Wurlitzer
Tami   Background Vocals
Nicole Blackman   Voices
Willie Martinez   Percussion,Guira
Joe Fiedler   Trombone
Itamar Ziegler   Bass,Background Vocals
Ori Kaplan   Recorder,Saxophone
Yuri Lemeshev   Accordion
Victoria Hana   Vocals,Background Vocals
Oren Kaplan   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Tamir Muskat   Castanets,Cymbals,Drums,Tambourine,Background Vocals,Loops
Dave Balou   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Markus Matti   Tuba
Morgan Saint Boot Boys   Foot Stomping
Muskat Orchestra   Strings,Horn
Ramallah Orphans Choir   Background Vocals
Asaf Roth   Cymbals,Glockenspiel,Marimbas
Willy Martinez   Percussion

Technical Credits

Tod A.   Producer,Cover Design
Scott Hull   Mastering
James C. Moore   Cover Art
Tamir Muskat   Producer
Muskat Orchestra   Arranger
Danny Shatzky   Engineer,Tape Machine

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