"UNDERGROUND ALBUM OF THE YEAR"
Long-time readers of this blog will recall that I introduced you all to Id Guinness way back in August of last year. During a night of insomnia and some intense web-surfing I found his songs. While I won't say it was fate - it was certainly a happy accident. The man makes great music!
The Vancouver artist has been working slavishly on the album he just now releases. Id Guinness releases a treasure in "Cure for the Common Crush" - an amazing and most original release which could prove to be Canada's underground album release of the year! (It's got my vote.)
We are very lucky that I count Id Guinness as a friend; it has allowed me an unprecedented level of access to his songs - two of which I share with you today! Id and I stayed in touch as he worked slavishly over this new album. Over the weeks he has provided me with early samples of his work. I was always impressed with his progress, but nothing could prepare me for just how profoundly good the new record album ("Cure for the Common Crush") is overall - the package is greater than its individual parts. It's hard to believe this is a first entry into what could be a very incredible career. Listen for yourself and pickup this album.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED MUSIC
Id Guinness: Reviews
Cure for the Common Crush reviews
ID GUINNESS – CURE FOR THE COMMON CRUSH sparklepromotions.com/idguinness
Id (rhymes with Syd) is a Canadian deep-thinking troubadour who somehow makes the sounds of his life fuse together and work. The big, intense production of 70s Pink Floyd, Roxy Music and David Bowie are invigorated by new wave invention and melded with white hot Asian and Eastern instrumental styles. Id's songs are wide-open anthems, deftly layered and textured over bitter-sweet lyricism, the soundscapes evoke images of travels to the Earth's darkest corners, and beyond.
Okay, I’m just going to come right out and say it: Id Guinness’ Cure for the Common Crush is one amazing piece of art. If I were forced to narrow him down to one particular genre, I’d say Guinness falls into the progressive, psychedelic rock category reminiscent of 70s art rock acts like David Bowie and (more blatantly) Pink Floyd. Although trying to pin his work down to a specific label defeats the sprit that embodies it. The beauty of this CD comes in its ability to completely break down genre walls and incorporate a variety of different styles into one respected album.
I’m not sure I can remember the last time I heard a CD as diverse as this. Starting with “Rising River,” Id Guinness introduces an almost funk-rock backing rhythm with a very original guitar lick that instantly drew me in. Next, “The One That Got Away” switches to a tighter, more classically inspired background flow. Before you become accustomed to that, “Jade Garden” brings a traditional Chinese erhu (look it up) into the mix that does wonders to set the mood for a song rich in Asian imagery:
She says trust your intuition
the universe is guiding your life
You’ll get nowhere standing still
Every excess becomes a vice
Your money’s no good here, she said
Lotus flowers filled my head
Jasmine leaves were what she read.
While Guinness’ varied arrangements are the album’s main draw, it’s easy to see how his composition can be just as impassioned. This imaginative trend continues throughout the rest of the album, with each song bringing something different to the table. From the harder rock of “Down to Earth” to the 80s inspired sound of “Always Crashing in the Same Car,” Cure for the Common Crush makes sure you never hear the same thing twice.
What keeps the album from feeling too consecutively different or disjointed is Guinness’ steady vocal rhythm and lyrical styling. He seems to know exactly how to tip-toe the genre line, rather than falling right over it like many would. However, on occasion the general similarity in the rhythm and flow of the choruses gives the impression that the songs would feel comparable without the creative background styles. Granted, this isn’t the case for every song and is a minor complaint considering the effort put in to the techniques experimented with. All in all, this is an extremely solid, well-produced album that should not be missed.
Id Guinness comes seemingly out of nowhere with an electrifying and eclectic album. He takes myriad influences and somehow weaves them all together. The storming opener "Rising River" recalls U2's stadium anthems but with a mystical undertow that's the singer's own. "Jade Garden" sounds thrilling and exotic like an early Peter Gabriel track, but with an Asian instrumentation. The title song is a powerful piece of writing recounting the sheer force of love. Musically it recalls the seventies era of Pink Floyd, without being a ripoff. It has its own soul. A cover of Bowie's "Always Crashing In The Same Car" is well chosen and apt. It's clever not to go for the big hits with an artist like Bowie. This version is a bit more ragged and atmospheric than the original. Id Guinness is an artist with a talent all his own and an album to treasure.
Cure for the Common Crush is the cleverly titled debut album from Vancouver progressive rocker Id Guinness. The album has received heaps of praise from the online rock community, including a "Top 25 of 2008" spot from Indie-Music.com. An eclectic collection of songs, Cure for the Common Crush takes equally from '70s progressive rock and the '00s indie underground. Dark FM radio overtones meet with a well placed smattering of horns to create the prog feel. Guinness also seems to make it his mission to singlehandedly resurrect the lost art of the guitar solo (it's about time if you ask me). Those elements are contrasted with an often lo-fi aesthetic an Mercury Rev-like cinematics. Vocally, Guinness shifts back and forth between Ben Gibbard high nasal tones and decadent Berlin-era Bowie. From time to time the melodrama of the album can become a tad overbearing. For example, "The One That Got Away" sounds a little too close to Pink Floyd's "Welcome To the Machine" for my comfort (mostly because I hate Floyd). While labelling it one of the best albums of 2008 may be a stretch, one can't help but admire Guinness for taking a musical genre that had been left for dead and dragging it into the 21st Century. Guinness' second album, Soul Envy, is on track for an August release. Best tracks: "I Have Seen the Future", "The Joke"
There are CDs which are able to catch your attention from the very first strains of the opening song, and that is exactly what Id Guinness does on his debut album Cure For The Common Crush. The opening tune Rising River has a haunting opening, the song being somewhat dark musically, over which Guinness' voice, one with a sort of British feel, carries a truly beautiful song. Impressive start.
Of course the key is making sure it's not one good song, and then nadda. Well fear not on this one folks, Guinness keeps it coming throughout this 13 cut CD.
The second song, The One That Got Away, has another killer musical intro. Again moody and rich, Guinness' voice still shines through. By the time the second song is finished, you will be hooked. You will realize you have found a gem. This guy combines it all. The lyrics are compelling, the music rich, deep, moody and full. The arrangements are lush. The voice smooth, with that sort of British undertone – think a twist of David Bowie, who interestingly he lists as an influence. The result is pure WOW!
Now I might have guessed this would be good considering Guinness has been performing with the Wyrd Sisters of late, and they are perhaps the best, yet sadly not widely know groups in Canada. I can tell you that they must have taught Guinness well, because at times there are times you can see slight similarities in approach, although fear not this guy has his own beautiful sound as well.
Songs such as I Have seen the Future, Down to This and The Joke are other cuts to watch, although in truth any one of these are pure gold.
Check him out at www.idguinness.com and buy this CD.
Just for his influences alone, I would be intriqued by Id. He has named all my favorite modern recording artists and my two favorite world musics. This CD just has to be good.
This song sounds deliciously retro. It kind of reminds me of The Fixx one of the classic 80’s new wave bands. The production is very modern and full sounding. The guitar soars over the refrain “Love Ya baby”. What a beautiful track.
The One That Got Away
An Eleanor Rigby string intro, sparse drums build up into a full arrangement letting Id’s voice soar over top.
This CD really harkens back to more innocent age where singer/songwriers ruled. This song has that Greg Lake word play and metaphysical theme that people don’t really write about in todays music.
I Have Seen the Future
I have not read anything about how this CD was produced, but I get the feeling that Id played and sang on every track.
Down to This
This is my favorite track so far. Starting out with a vocal/guitar verse it slams into a huge chorus with heaps of vocals.
Cure for the Common Crush
Trippy and epic like a great Pink Floyd song. I have to say that Id wears his influences on his sleeve which is not a bad thing. It’s as if he is writing the best songs for all his favorite bands.
Always Crashing in the Same Car
This would be the Peter Gabriel song that he never wrote. Wonderful, trippy and the mix is huge.
One thing I like about the sounds of these songs is that they use lush reverb so that the vocals float over the instruments. Modern mixes seem to have that really dry, in you face sound. Ok, so this the Psychadelic Furs with a better vocalist. I really love the layered choir of voices. Good stuff.
…and the powerful ballad that Phil Collins never wrote. This is a really lovely song. The backup female vocals are a nice touch.
A lush piano, soprano sax intro opens up this followed by a heavily effected vocal. I hate to make comparisons, but this track sounds like Al Stewart meets Thomas Dolby. Love the soprano sax solo.
You don’t hear people using synths like on this song’s intro any more. The drums have that gated reverb, Phil Collins sound that I really like a lot. I love the way the bass and drums drive this track.
Great song. I have nothing else to say.
What a magical introduction. Such a beautiful wash of sound. I would use just this part for a film or one of those magical car commercials. I was sort of hoping that this would stay an instrumental. Sort of Emerson, Lake and Floyd in flavor. What a great sad, acid flashback. Getting out my bong I think. Oh that’s right. I don’t do that anymore. Oh well. If you like Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Pink Floyd and all those progressive and new wave bands and artists of the 70’s and 80’s, you will love this CD. I do. If I had one complaint, it would be that I would like to hear more Id instead of his influences. But, this is really wonderful mix of songs and textures and it sounds extraordinary.
Id Guinness (rhymes with Sid apparently) is a solo artist of some acclaim in his native Canada having won particular praise for his work on a famine relief record, particularly the track “Open Your Heart” Citing influences that include Pink Floyd and Peter Gabriel (among others) and you can see this musical heritage throughout the tracks here, some of the guitar tones and phrasing in particular coming almost directly from the fretboard of David Gilmour circa 1975. Once you look beyond the obvious Floydisms there is an intriguing album to be found here; there are a multitude of 70's musical motifs to be found, with only the white reggae influences of “Rising River” and slightly hip-hop stylings of the title track hinting at musical styles from any other decade, but you can feel the sense of craft being employed. The songs have a very cohesive and polished feel to them and the arrangements and production are absolutely spot on. Pink Floyd fans who bemoan the fact that Roger Waters is no longer in the band can be thankful that Id Guinness at least is making modern music that evokes the best of the Waters era, and is accessible enough for the casual listener to find something to appreciate also.
Blimey, it's all gone a bit seventies melodic prog around here! Even more surprising as it seems that Mr Guinness has been knocking around the wilds of Canada since the early eighties, a time I associate with bad ties and worse music. But perhaps the horrors of the New Romantics never got that far as this sampler takes on us a tour around the better moments of Asia, the Moody Blues and Pink Floyd. Two of which are good things. The five tracks I was sent are all enjoyable with nary a dull moment in sight. CD opener 'Rising River' is a bit of a misleading start, as it's the least proggish of all the tracks, but it's not long before the Steve Hackett guitar lines are starting to sweep in from all sides. Further down the line on 'The One That Got Away', it's Dave "David" Gilmour who pops in to leave some influence behind, something that comes to a peak on the title track 'Cure For The Common Crush'. The songs are full of swooping, soaring melodies, designed for stadiums and spaceship props. Hopefully, with the recent rejuvenation of the lush seventies sound, there will be some room set aside for Mr Guinness and his pompous-free pomp.
ID GUINNESS Cure For The Common Crush (album sampler)
According to his PR Id's new album fuses mid 70's influences of Roxy, Bowie, and Floyd with Asian and mid Eastern instrumentation and a smattering of new wave. It sounded a fairly noxious concoction, but perhaps surprisingly it's a damn good piece of rock.
The sort of stirring melodic guitar rock that someone like John Wetton or latter period Asia could have come up with. And that's no bad thing, even if audiences for the genre are somewhat dwindling these days. Which makes Id Guinness well worth exploring if you're a classic rock fan.
The One That Got Away draws heavily on Gilmour, while Cure For The Common Crush is a thinly veiled homage to Comfortably Numb which even gets some Clare Torrey-like female wailing thrown in for good measure. Now that's what I call music. ****
Id Guinness is a Canadian singer-songwriter who has put together a really interesting album that is heavily influenced by 70's artists like Roxy Music and Pink Floyd.
The album opens up with 'Rising River', which is heavily produced with a really thick sound. The song gives you a fair indication on what to expect from the rest of the album.
All the songs on the album are very melodic. 'The One That Got Away' is a great example, with a fabulous string arrangement that adds power to the track. To show his versatility there are also some good rockier numbers such as 'Beautiful Goodbye' and '25 Watts'.
The final and standout track is 'Wailing Wall'. Very atmospheric and Floyd-esque, the song sways around a repetitive lyrical line that makes the track surprisingly interesting and an enthralling six minutes.
The album does take a couple of listens to really get into and is more for Sunday morning than Saturday night. There has clearly been plenty of thought put into the album and the variations in sounds make it a very interesting listen.
Descending from the Great White North like a surprise cold-front, comes Vancouver’s Id Guinness’ impressive Cure for the Common Crush – a project on an indie label that has all of the sonic trappings of a major label release. This densely-produced collection of thirteen songs starts off with the driving, pulsating, almost throbbingly rhythmic introduction of “Rising River,” a song laced with swirling guitar and eastern-sounding synth lines, topped off with Guinness’ Bono-meets-Bowie vocals: an impressive opening, indeed. The over-all sound of Cure for the Common Crush plays against what we usually expect to hear from indie releases: Guinness gives us an album with a big, full, thoughtfully produced sound and an obvious stylistic awareness of the classic rock era, with several tips of the musical hat to the likes of David Bowie (whose “Always Crashing in the Same Car,” the only non-original track, is covered), The Moody Blues, U2, Pink Floyd, ELO, and – of course – The Beatles. Despite the obvious classic rock-era musical references, the music on Cure for the Common Crush is fresh and interesting. The album’s second track, “The One That Got Away,” sounds like a rock ‘mirror universe’ parallel to Gnarles Barkley’s “Crazy,” with lines like “I’m crazy – I’m crazy to let you get to me …oh, I have heard that you may be crazy, too,” sung in an almost-falsetto by Guinness, and backed up by George Martin-like percussive strings and very Ringo-influenced drumming: this track also features the amazingly fluid, emotionally powerful guitar playing of Curtis Debray, who is the featured guitarist on many of these songs. The Beatle influence perhaps is at its strongest on the closing track, the dreamy, “Wailing Wall,” which ultimately gets into one of those great coda-riffs, repeating and getting heavier with every go-round, in a “She’s So Heavy” moment, with more of that Starr-influenced drumming and Id sounding very much in a Lennon mode. We even get a genuine “yeah, yeah, yeah,” in “Always Crashing in the Same Car,” for good measure!
Produced by Guinness, this is a project full of excellent art-rock and pop sounds, at the same time familiar and jarringly original. To me, the most accessible song – and one with quite a reasonable hook – is “Down to This,” which might be the most radio-ready track on the CD, although “The One That Got Away,” is quirky enough and interesting enough to catch the ear on the very first hearing, as well. Id Guinness has produced a project that sounds like the work of an artist that’s well into his career and well past the ‘indie’ stage – certainly, Cure for the Common Crush is a contender that can hold its own against some of the more established names. Guinness’ voice is versatile and easy to listen to, and the musicians – especially the very impressive Curtis Debray on guitar and Pat Steward on drums – do an excellent job producing a big classic rock sound without getting pretentious about it. Helping out Id, who writes the bulk of the songs, sings, plays keyboards, synth bass, and synth guitar, we have Ledenhed on guitars, Leslie Harris on vocals, Delina on guitars and vocals, Donn Tarris on bass, Heywood McMartin on drums, and the afore-mentioned Debray and Steward. If there is any mis-step at all on this project it might be the occasional warbling female vocals that appear on a couple of tracks, but it’s a minor complaint and, perhaps a matter of personal taste.
Cure for the Common Crush is a refreshing, well-produced album that delivers artfully crafted rock songs performed by musicians that play with skill and genuine emotion. Lead singer and front-man, Id Guinness, has the voice and presence to hold the project together and give it personality – it just might be the cure for what ails ya’….
By Bert Saraco
14 Jan 2008
'INSTANTLY FAMILIAR AND COMPELLING" - Berkeley Place, Brooklyn, NY
Hailing from Vancouver, Id Guinness's album came out last year. The only reason I heard of it was because Ryan arranged for a copy to come into my box after he picked it as the best underground album of 2007. And boy am I grateful! Id Guinness, who has in the past made music with the likes of kd lang and Randy Bachman, among others, makes anthemic rock songs that recall the best of Roxy Music, David Bowie, INXS, U2, Fiona Apple . . . All those folks who make "important"
songs with heavy themes and larger-than-life riffs. And yet, at the same time, "Cure for the Common Crush" sounds oddly small, oddly humble, oddly unique. Singular. That's the word I'd use to describe it best. The first track, Rising River, is instantly familiar and compelling. As is the second track, the third, and on and on. It's easy to see why everyone who hears this record wants desperately to share it with their friends.
Check it out.
ID GUINNESS “Cure For The Common Crush” (Guinness Records) A creative Canadian dripping on the goss of Bowie and Pink Floyd via his anthemic psychedelic rock platitudes with ambient quagmires and juxtapositions of frilly frivolity ultimately producing sustained excitement. (9)
For his latest release this much-respected Canadian musician offers up 13 tracks of typically timeless and cerebral rock music. With an experimental spirit present throughout it is, perversely, the moments when electronica makes an appearance that the songs sound a little dated, take the warbling synth intro for ‘Beautiful Goodbye’ as one of very few examples. Otherwise, Guinness’ style is centred on songs of emotional depth and economical arrangement but with an epic vibe courtesy of solid, unfussy rhythms and multi-layered instrumentation. Further points of interest are frequently added, including a middle eastern organ riff for ‘Rising River’, the Eleanor Rigby strings for ‘The One That Got Away’ or the symphonic keyboard rush for ‘Negative’, which recalls Cardiacs’ ‘Big Ship’ and is the most up-tempo track on offer.
These elements coagulate to produce a sound that combines that of mid-career Porcupine Tree with latter day Pink Floyd and, improbably perhaps, the more ambitious leanings of Norwegian pop scoundrels A-ha (due in no small part to Guinness sporadic vocal resemblance to Morton Harkett). The Floyd influence is the most obvious however, within the languid tempos and restless lead guitar work in particular, as well as for the Great Gig in the Sky caterwaul heard toward the end of the title track.
Now all this may sound like an accusation of mediocrity to some, but the truth is that ‘Cure For The Common Crush’ is easy listening in the healthiest way possible; if you like rock music then this is the perfect antidote to a head-mashing dose of hardcore. It’s an album of intelligent, wholly listenable songs and, in heart-warming duet ‘The Joke’, it provides a song that in another life would give U2’s ‘One’ a run for it’s tear-soaked money.
If Id Guinness is unknown in our premises, this musician originally from Vancouver sure has made a great impression in our country. This artist merits quickly earned good reports in our case. What strikes initially with Id Guinness is his voice, a cross between David Bowie, Bryan Ferry, Peter Gabriel, Bono and Roger Waters, sometimes crystalline, sometimes angelic. Id Guinness has the image of an actor who slips into the skin of the character that he incarnates. Throughout the disc, one has the vision of a man that changed costumes for each song title. Do not hope for riffs out of tempered steel or measurements impossible to beat with the foot. For that, it is necessary to await new Meshuggah. Here, one discovers an engraver of melodies above par.
Musically, Cure For The Common Crush is a rare gem, with an immaculate and clear production that demands your attention. "Rising River" which opens the album makes you think of a night filled with beautiful stars spent near Niagara Falls. "Jade Garden" and its oriental introduction makes you imagine Taj Mahal before setting out again towards a squarer Californian rock'n'roll, with a slight resemblance to a recent Carlos Santana production. The title itself initially reminds one of a happy meeting between U2 and Peter Gabriel. Moreover the influence of the Angel is manifest by this with dark dimensions and of all its weight on the title.
You can find a bit of U2 in "Always Crashing In The Same Car" with the mix of expensive loops and the modern touch of the Irish group. The music excites us, always with smoothness, it should be said in passing - especially "Negative" with its alternative influences, before setting out again on a superb ballad "The Joke." But the cherry on the cake has to be "Wailing Wall", sumptuous homage to Floyd with strong reminiscences of famous "Great Gig In The Sky."
Cure For The Common Crush is without doubt one of the best debuts of the year, a pleasant surprise. Id Guinness is a unique composer, in the style of Nick Drake or Peter Gabriel. This disc is simply the kind of album that one would listen to rest, to oxygenate ones self or for a long trip in the car. A great mix of different genres for all who are looking for something completely different, or a bit of everything, worthy of most beautiful of work of goldsmith.
(thanks to Monique Johnson and Babel Fish for English translation)
Sunday, December 30, 2007
"CANADIAN INDIE SOLE ARTIST OF THE YEAR"
Influenced by Roxy Music, Bowie and Pink Floyd, there is also a 1970s "Supergroup" feel to this CD, especially on tracks "I have seen the future" and "Down to this" where you can visualise a packed stadium, joining in at the chorus, or legions of radio listeners, singing it constantly, as they complete their day to day chores. With songs which are thought-provoking, without being heavy, upbeat without being shallow or false and comforting when required, this is a CD containing very well-written lyrics, and a delivery which would challenge anyone to try and match, let alone better it. Id Guinness is the Canadian Indie Sole Artist of the year, with this CD you can understand why, and, if it comes down to this, then no-one will be disappointed after purchasing this CD.
9 OUT OF 10 - Indie Launchpad, Canada
Two things struck me when I first put on this album, or should I say two artists. One of them has been receiving renewed interest of late and that would be Led Zepplin. The other is an artist I reviewed here back in August, Aaron English. There is a real air of theatrics, which is exceedingly uncommon in albums today, or rather should I say in good albums. I’ve been following Id for quite a while. My memory was jogged again, way back in August of 2006 when I heard a track of his on the PC Podcast. This is an album that grabs you the first instant. When the last track finishes, you really feel like you’ve listened to something epic, in the best traditions of old.
Opening with “Rising River” you are immediately engulfed by what can only perceived as a supergroup in action, which is quite magical and awe inspiring. “The One That Got Away” has wonderful strings underpinning the track, which brings back memories of the Beatles, Eleanor Rigby. Where that was tinged with sadness, this track is tinged with a dark, almost maniacal feeling. The next track “Jade Garden” employs that vox coder sound, sometimes used by Pink Floyd, adding an inexplicable air to a song, that probably would have felt quite different without.
“I Have Seen the Future” feels very much like a natural break, with a more sedate pace and a sound that is much more radio friendly, Not that that means too much these days. I probably listen to about 10 minutes of radio, during a working week and that’s just for the news in the morning. “Down to This” starts of with a much more simpler, rougher sound than you expect, compared to the tracks that precedes it, but due to this sound, mainly due to the guitars, does again feel very much like Zepplin.
When an album has a title track, I’ve mentioned a few times, how I always expect it to be the strength on which the other tracks can lie for support. I wasn’t too sure about “Cure for the Common Crush”. It is a very laid back and slow burning song and to tell the truth, it took me a few listens to really warm to it, but I think it has a great feel and the production is great, with many interesting sounds and vocals. The next track “Always Crashing in the Same Car”, is a David Bowie cover, to which I’m not too familiar. I’m a big Bowie fan, but I’m only really familiar with his major hits, plus the odd album, usually his later releases. So when I heard this track I was unaware of the Bowie roots, until my memory was jogged by an email Id sent me, reminding me that this could not be the downloadable track used for this album, as being a cover it was not podsafe. For me this was a pleasant track, but nothing more. This track indeed marks the turning point of the album. The darker, edgier side is replaced by a more chilled out and relaxed side, which I have to admit, at first I was disappointed with, but the more I heard the album, the more I liked this split personality.
“Negative” with it’s sweeping keyboards, takes me back to the 90’s, as does the whole sound / production of the track. The 90’s theme continues with “The Joke”, which also brought to mind A-Ha, the Norwegian band, best remembered for their hit song “Take on Me”. It’s not so much Id’s voice, but more the phrasing of the lyrics and the lyrics themselves. “Beaches” is probably my least favorite track. It’s very moody and atmospheric, but just didn’t click with me. “Beautiful Goodbye”, is also a very pleasant track, but similarly, didn’t grab the way I really wanted it to. The penultimate track “25 Watts”, feels very 80’s rock, almost like a track from one of those teen movies, but there’s something about it, maybe the nostalgic feel, that really struck a chord with me.
And so the final track “Wailing Wall” is upon me and suddenly that real magic feel from the earlier tracks was back. What’s surprising is that this track is more laid back prog rock, than the earlier theatrical style, but it’s just a glorious ramble, with some very Floydian female vocals.
Conclusion : This album reminds me greatly of getting my grubby mitts on a new Pink Floyd release. At first you have the excitement, then the wonder of a new discovery, rounded off with the familiarity of an old friend. It’s an album that comes out of the gate with a snarl and finishes off with a lingering embrace.
Who says the '80s are over? Anyone making such a premature announcement hasn't yet heard Cure For The Common Crush by Id Guinness. This CD's slick production makes one want to shout, "Come back Simple Minds. All's forgiven."
The band's cover of David Bowie's "Always Crashing In The Same Car" has led some to brand it modern day glam-ers, but "The One That Got Away", with its Eleanor Rigby-like string part, shows that The Beatles have also had a noticeable impact on the act's sound. But these mostly straight forward rock songs also bring to mind a less thematic Pink Floyd much of the time.
When everything here comes together just right – like the way the strummed acoustic guitar, keyboards and vocals coexist perfectly on "25 Watts" – Id Guinness can be quite compelling. But a little more dirt under the fingernails and a little less nail polish on the outside would have made this a far more likeable CD. Production values in the '80s obscured many a good band. Let's hope this doesn't also happen to Id Guinness.
INFUZED Review - Oct. 23/07
Id Guinness has to be one of the most original artists I've heard in a while; I love his direction and creativity. The music has a sense of rawness to it that has been captured so perfectly. It has this underrated edge to it, you sometimes find your self wondering if you've heard this before as it has such a maturity to it. It's sort of a surprise that people aren't hearing this music all over the radios and world even!
Album opener Rising River just has this sound that hits you instantly and keeps you gripped at all times. It's completely unexpected and not at all something you expect to hear. It has this distinctively classic sound all wrapped up into something that bit different and fresher. The vocals are just as dynamic as they are unique; they demand your attention from start to finish. The One That Got Away takes a more melodic, softer approach. But, believe me that's only present in the vocals. Those raging guitar riffs are mind blowing and hit just at the right times. The hardness of the guitars gel perfectly with the tone of the vocals, you almost get this sense of drifting along some body of water as the sound carries you away. Rocking stuff! Following on is Jade Garden, the icy shrill of the vocals from the beginning are compelling, I love how there's an abandonment of trying something new and mixing different elements together to create such a new atmosphere. This is definitely a rocking track!
Down To This bellows in with its dark and grungy sounds, it builds at a steady and welcomed pace just before it come crashing in from the chorus. I really think this is a compelling number, from the background noise to the lyrics, its one that makes you sit back and think deeply, while at the same time playing out as a really great rock tune. You'd swear you had heard this on the radio many times before. Id has such a raw and outstanding talent for creating music, it radiates through him so completely that there is no mistaking that he was made to play music. I absolutely love this song; it stays in my head long after it's stopped playing.
Album title song Cure for the Common Crush takes a completely different direction than what I thought it might, but I like it. I love the vocals, I find myself tending to get lost in them at different moments. This doesn't take your typical sugary sweet approach that one might think just from the title of the song; it unfolds in all these different layers and presents itself in such a different way. This isn't as loud out there as some of the others heard, but listening to the lyrics and the mood, you can see why it's the title album track, it sort of sums up all the other songs and the mood of the album as a whole.
The Joke is a cracking little number; I love the combination of the male/female vocals going back and forth between each other. It gives the song another kind of dimension. There is always so much thought and feeling put in to the lyrics that you can't help but feel something for the songs instantly. The guitar riffs towards the end of the song that seem to pop out of nowhere are epic, I love it!
Next in is Beaches, it instantly grabs you with its wiry noises and gentle strokes on the keys. You almost feel as if you're listening to another singer, as it does sound very un-like some of the previous work heard. Beautiful Goodbye follows on, the cascading guitar riffs are a highlight in this one, and it helps the song to flow really well. This is another one that seems to explode out of no where. It's another good track and does enough to not get shoved out of the way and forgotten as the album plays on.
Moving on is 25 Watts has to be another one of my favourites on this album, the flow and pace is just perfect. I love the vocals during the chorus, they outshine at their best. Id really has this gorgeous vocal ability that just gets lodged into your mind and takes over. It's just really beautiful some of the tones he hits and carries so well, it's flawless. Nothing is ever overplayed or under played and he really picks the best moments to shine. Gorgeous!
Wailing Wall ends this delightful album, mainly an instrumental with a few vocal harmonies thrown in to create this very psychedelic atmosphere. It builds this eerie chill in your flesh, I love it. The balance is just right from not being too loud or too soft, it's a perfect send off from this album.
I think this is a great album, one that shows great maturity and understanding of what one wants to get across and how music makes the artist feel. Such stunning writing style and arrangements, it really stands out from the crowds. I hope to continue to hear much more music from Id for many years to come, a charming piece of work!
Cure For The Common Crush (Independent) Haven't heard from Id since he was part of a local breed of '80s pop. The influences are still detectable after all these years, though. Beneath a beautiful package is an art-pop that ranges from David Bowie and Peter Gabriel to Duran Duran and Pink Floyd.
Id Guinness - Cure for the Common Crush - CD Id Guinness makes me think of a sonic rock band from the '70s but thrown into modern times due to the loops and synth bass. By the second track "The One That Got Away" I have heard elements of Supertramp, Pink Floyd and Kansas. Not that this is just a total throwback to to the prog-rock bands of three decades ago, but it does sound heavily influenced by the period. They are all good musicians and the vocals are even decent, but this has too much guitar wanking for my tastes. If you like any older prog rock then this would be the disc for you.
All being well, September should see the release of what has to be one of the most eagerly awaited albums in the world of podsafe music. For about 15 months, various tracks from it have been dropping into my inbox. These have varied from instrumental tracks without vocals to early mixes to remixes and the finished items. I think I now have the complete album, although I wouldn't rule out any last-minute remixes. At the time of writing, the latest news from Id Guinness is that the album , 'Cure For The Common Crush', is to be launched on 4 September. It has been repeatedly delayed. After all, like so many other musicians, Id has to earn a living, which he does in part by touring with other bands and doing production work. He also had to cope with a nasty bout of illness which affected his ability to sing: not good when you're trying to lay down vocals.
So who is Id Guinness? Well, he's from Vancouver, Canada. He has performed and recorded with a number of Vancouver-area bands and artists, and he has been responsible as writer and artist (or both) for a string of minor hits in Canada, going back to his 1980's powerpop band The Wet! He is also in demand for TV soundtrack work.
In this album, Id Guinness shows w hy his influences include Roxy Music, David Bowie and Peter Gabriel. (I first made contact with Id through a Myspace search for "Roxy Music" influences.) There are songs that I could easily hear being sung by Messrs. Ferry, Bowie or Gabriel. However, Id Guinness and his fellow performers put their own unique mark on the sound. I suppose that the album is classified as mainstream indie rock - nothing challenging in terms of style or genre. But that is not to belittle it. Id Guinness has surrounded himself with excellent musicians. From the very first notes of the opening track 'Rising River' – surely a strong candidate for release as a single – the excellent guitar work of Curtis De Bray runs through this album. Then there are excellent keyboards, mainly by Id himself, and drums by Pat Steward who used to be in Bryan Adams' band, in tracks which are tightly produced and where the instruments and vocals are well balanced.
Most of the tracks are original Id Guinness compositions, but there are a few covers. 'Negative', written by collaborator and guitar player Ledenhed, could have been a Roxy Music song, on - say - 'Country Life ' or 'Siren'. And there is an excellent version of David Bowie's 'Always Crashing In The Same Car' (one of the stand-out tracks on Bowie 's 'Low ' album), in which - to my ear - Id and his fellow musicians are both respectful of the song's origins and yet put their own mark on it, improving and updating the original. This album has a mainstream rock sound drawn from the 70s and 80s, and some of the songs would now be regarded as classics had they been released then. Maybe some of them will become classics. I've already mentioned a few of the obvious influences. We can add Pink Floyd, both in some of the Gilmour-esque guitar playing and in the closing track, 'Wailing Wall'. This song could have been on 'Dark Side Of The Moon', and features vocals by Leslie Harris which closely echo Clare Torrey's on 'Great Gig In The Sky'. Id says "her vocal at the end of 'Cure for The Common Crush' (the title track) was so great I wanted to find a way to showcase her more, so 'Wailing Wall' was born." 'Wailing Wall' also features an instrument that I must confess I'd not heard of before, called the erhu, played by Lan Tung.
Id Guinness has been a great supporter of podcasting as a means of getting his music played, and so far he has avoided involvement with the big labels, saying "I am not particularly interested in being signed by a major label, but will be looking for distribution once I start getting out and playing." This excellent album can be purchased via www.idguinness.com.
"Vancouver's Id Guinness made magic in 2006 as far as I'm concerned. EASILY one of the most underrated artists of 2006. He was one of the first artists to share music with me once I opened my page up - all around good karma..... A tremendous talent - Id Guinness is certainly one of the very best from 2006."
Theres a cool combination of effects going on at the start of 'Rising River.' Nice guitar work mixed with keys and drum sounds combine with echoing effects producing a good platform for the vocals. The quickly heightening key sounds kind of get wedged in your brain. The vocals kick in with strength, the sound is clear and solid. I'm reminded at times of singers from the eighties although this may be partly due to the instruments being used as well. The repeating lines of love you baby coupled with the keys are really quite infectious. I like the way the sound is mixed up, the way the vocals become more on edge at times, the use of guitars to strengthen the tune at moments, it's a slickly produced song.
Guitars and strings combine with drums to produce a stabbing start to 'The One That Got Away.' The vocals join in and really deliver a strong sound. As the guitars wail over the top of the singing an extra dimension is added. The sound does sound again like its from another era but that's never necessarily a bad thing, after all if everything always sounds the same things get boring. I like the persistent stabbing string sounds, it lends a real edginess to the tune and I think the vocals are never in danger of being overshadowed by any other sound on offer.
I really enjoyed the tracks here & I look forward to what's to come from this artist!!