Thursday, February 28, 2013

Plumb - Need You Now [Music Review]

Artist: Plumb
Album: Need You Now
Album Length: 13 tracks: 51 minutes, 23 seconds
Street Date: February 26, 2013
Record Label: Curb Records
Genre: Rock/Pop
iPod Pick: ‘Beautiful’ or ‘Drifting’ (Honestly it’s a strong tie)

Plumb’s career story is inspiring at best. On making a decision to leave the music industry years back (which she hadn’t publicly announced yet) and playing her last concert, Plumb was approached by a young girl who slipped a note across to her. The note summary was a ‘Thank You letter’ of how Plumb’s music as at then had helped the girl through a very hard time. It was then Plumb made up her mind to continue making beautiful music. If you aren’t familiar with the music of Plumb then you are not familiar with the popular flick ‘Bruce Almighty’. Maybe you would recognize her real name Tiffany Arbuckle Lee somewhere in the soundtrack credits. Fans have waited five years for ‘Need You Now’ and I can tell you from here: It was worth the wait. And this is why.

‘Invisible’ sounds like something Lady Gaga would gladly pay Plumb for as a songwriter and place on her next album. It’s got that eerie feel that one of those Kylie Minogue calisthenics styled music video might just fit well if Plumb decides to make a video for this one.  Drifting’ which features Jars of Clay member Dan Haseltine has the ability to do two things in you, awaken angst for the status quo and at the same time hope for tomorrow as you might get stuck on this one for a while before you continue the record. Before you continue, you might pick up your headphones and take a walk. There’s a tendency you would smile at every stranger you meet on the way while listening to this one. 

'Beautiful' builds up with grace and tempo consisting of all what we loved about the 80's music and what's most beautiful about it is the story it tells. The lyrics and bouncy beats at its bridge would make you just smile big. Love me some ukulele on 'One Drop' which pop radio would pick up soon. 'I Want You Here' starts in an undecided melody leaving us wondering 'what exactly is happening in this song!' Until you here Plumb screams the first line of the chorus 'I wanna scream. . .' And then you realize we were in for an impatient but slow ambient roller coaster all along. 'Say Your Name' reminds us why we've always loved Plumb’s  music  as she asks 'when does a scar become a tattoo?'. Though loud, 'Say Your Name' leans more on the poppy side, which still Gaga but preferably Pink or Ke$ha wouldn't might paying for on their own respective albums.

'Unlovable' is a letter, I think to the church. It's beautiful. And that underlying tune knocks it off more beautifully. And there's a chance you might print out the lyrics for this one and place them somewhere near your mirror. Example: 'so we say we love Jesus. Didn't we kill him?' 'Need You Now (How Many Times)' musically follows the path of something we’ve heard but might not be exactly able to place from Plumb's 'Chaotic Resolve'  album but still sounds solid and beautiful for this project.

I personally love 'Chocolate and Ice Cream' and would give Plumb a pat on the back for it cause its musically different in sound from anything she's ever done and would have just been extra perfect if one of them rappers say Lecrae or Tedashii dropped some bars on this one. 'I Don't Deserve You' musically might not shatter new grounds but is lyrically loaded. And somewhere towards the end, Plumb spontaneously breaks into a SANG IT!!! voice, and yeah it's okay cause she can SANG. 'Cage' walks the thin line of a 'no no' and 'yeah! That’s my song'. Personally I think it's would have been best kept for a future record as it seems like a vacation from the whole mood and feel of the album but it still beautifully reminds us of the best of 80's rock.

An old fan might just scream 'lullabies? Not again!' on 'At Arms Length' which is reminiscent of songs from Plumb's Blink project. It's a love song this time and not about cooing babies to sleep. Even here we hear the line 'Faster Than a Bullet' which is what this album was meant to be called formerly. DJs get ready for the party ready 'I Don't Deserve You (With Paul van Dyk) ' which would get a regular listener wondering if it's the same song on 'I Don't Deserve You' same words but so much difference.

Plumb has always had the ability to convince us music is never made in a studio but drops directly from heaven and she does that again on her latest 'Need You Now'. Tiffany Arbuckle Lee is a song carver specialized in delivering bespoke songs to her fans that meets them in an individual place yet drawing them to seek a community where hope is readily available. 'Need You Now' is a 'must-not-miss' if you've been a fan or if you love music, just plain good music. And no wonder this artist been cited as an inspiration and model by many established artistes say Amy Lee of the rock band Evanescence.

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