Album Reviews

The Special Goodness – Land, Air, Sea

(N.O.S.) UK release date: 26 January 2004

The Special Goodness - Land, Air, Sea My significant other says she can’t tell The Special Goodness‘s Land, Air, Sea from Weezer; she says this is Weezer-lite – and it’s a delightful brew that will confuse even some of your more knowing friends when you organise a tasting.

Pat Wilson (Weezer) and his old mate Atom Willard (Rocket From The Crypt), after jamming together since 2000, have now enlisted the help of engineer Chad Bamford to record a trad hard rock album. The sound is very traditional but lively and fresh. It is uneven but consistently satisfying. I’ll probably put it in my car.

At times – in a few places – the lyrics seem somewhat underdeveloped or even incoherent, but where these issues are resolved the result is genius. For example in N.F.A., which stands for the repeated “not f***in’ around”, but is turned into the most beautiful love pledge. In fact this is almost an old-fashioned ’60s love song updated. It owes a little to Weezer’s Only In Dreams. Whatever’s Going On also has memorable words (“I don’t belong in this world – no one does…”) which appeal immediately to the listener.

Oops is a hard rock Eleanor Rigby, filled with delicious ambiguity. How has this friend been “lost”? Misplaced? Deliberately lost? “Oh, no, I did it again…” gives us a tantalising clue. What is important in popular music is that it connects with its audience: this powerfully connects through its different appeal to different listeners.

Despite being only a duo these musicians produce an exotic chromaticism at the start of Pardon Me and there are memorable guitar riffs at the end. This is a good example of the excellent mixing of this album. Move It Along is a grown-up Beach Boys‘ song – in a sort of philosophical hard-rock version.

Try it. You’ll like it! But it may take more than one hearing.

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The Special Goodness – Land, Air, Sea