I’m a huge Tori Amos fan, so let’s start there. This Is A Lifetime has a different sound. A bit louder, for one thing. Earlier this rather cold spring, I had their latest album, Clarity, in my car, but on my way home from work one day I started to whip around the car ahead of me pulled off to the side of the road, before finding, just in time, the flashing lights of an ambulance in my rearview mirror. So I had to take it out, but now that it’s warm enough to drive with the windows down, it’s back in.
John Cage demonstrated that music is simply context for silence. Or wait, that was just me stealing a comment my cousin made and elaborating on it for a blog post, which can be found here: https://myfreesentences.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/the-evolution-of-music-from-silence-to-mumford-and-sons/
My earliest musical influence was Air Supply. My dad got us kids one of those buy eight cassettes for a penny and then get eight more at regular price over the course of three years, and my oldest sister, with my other sister and I still at an age where we didn’t know any music, selected all Air Supply and I think some Billy Joel. The piano became my favorite instrument. I think I took sheet music for a Tiffany song to my piano teacher to help me learn to play it. So that’s about me. I remember a kid a year older who rode in the back of the bus with early Metallica blaring from his headphones. He terrified me. He smoked!
Preferences often turn into biases, which is probably a human tendency that goes beyond music and art to life in general. After watching Crazy Heart, with Jeff Bridges, I told a friend at work how much I enjoyed the movie and then whispered, “I think I might like country music, now.” Well, why wouldn’t I? When you think of music as contrast to silence, you see it’s all close to the same. Heavy Metal has a filled-in sound, it’s fast, it’s loud, but after that initial jolt of a new style of music, that same contrast comes to the forefront. Tori Amos might use breathy pauses and the sound of her foot pressing the pedals to create tension and give the next slowly played scale more impact, This Is A Lifetime has its own ways of using contrast to create tension and give their songs impact.
The opening song, “Witness,” begins with a long throaty roar, a stanza of screamed lyrics over a driving drum beat, and then an electric guitar riff leads into the melodic chorus, which while not exactly slow, feels slow in contrast, before the screaming voice returns, influenced by the slow melody, the screaming voice has been slightly tempered, but then picks back up, the drums and driving bass sort of encouraging its return. Then more fast-paced screaming, before the relatively slow melody is back, the other instruments falling in. Everything complements everything else.
This contrast is also on display in probably the song that has spent the longest as my favorite, over the course of a few weeks of having the album on in my car, Clarity, although the last song, Ascend, has been making a steady rise to the top, lately. Someone asked me when I was telling them excitedly how much I was enjoying the album if I thought it would get me into heavy metal. I would say probably not. I went too far at too young an age down that Air Supply path, but my This Is A Lifetime album has definitely earned a spot in my CD rotation, and I’m looking forward to their next. And I have to admit, unashamed as I am to have my Tori Amos blasting with my windows down, there is something about having This Is A Lifetime playing when I roll up next to another car at a traffic light. “Yeah, that’s right. This is the badass music I’m listening to right now.”
This Is A Lifetime is a hard-working, DIY (do-it-yourself) band. They put a great deal of their money and time into creating music in hopes of being heard. Please check out one of their songs when you have the time and show them some love by liking their facebook page.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thisisalifetime
Link to a live version of “Witness” up on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-EMGlMcUqM
Please check them out. Anything below this is a link from wordpress, not me.