We're not feeling any love. At all. 0/10
This is a perfect explanation of what?s wrong with the music business these days when anyone with a CD-burner and some recording software can unleash their home recordings and demos on an unsuspecting public. Adrian Orange is a Portland, Oregon singer/songwriter (and I use the terms VERY loosely) who has apparently convinced several labels to release about a half dozen albums- and EPs-worth of his basement rumblings and aural blogs. This triple album (yes, I guess they do still make them!)/single CD features Orange?s questionable vocal skills (the biggest question is who let this guy sing in the first place) moaning/speaking his way Bill Callahan-style ? through ?Around The World? with a galloping drum beat behind him that I?m not quite sure whether it?s intended to egg him on or drown him out. The essentially non-sequitor lyrics seem to be pulled at random, Brion Gysin-styled out of some old hat, so don?t even try to follow the story.
Orange sniffles, clears his throat and makes up the lyrics to the title track as he goes along, accompanyinig himself on rudimentary acoustic guitar pluckings that suggest that guitar lessons were not in his budget. He ?sings? the title track to the first album ?Fuck The World? in such a narcoleptic stupor that it?s hard to tell whether he?s angry or just too fucked-up to care anymore, but the following wall of guitar distortion that is the title of the third album ?Welcome Home Human? (apparently there was a sequencing error that placed this song on the first album) suggests that Orange is building a wall to insulate himself from external forces of anxiety.
At this point I have to throw down the gauntlet like Peter Finch in ?Network? and scream ?I?m mad as hell and I?m not gonna take it anymore.? I simply can?t take any more of these warbling, moaning, depressing diary excerpts. Goodness, this sounds like I did when I was about 10 and started sing/speaking into my first tape recorder, making up ?songs? and noises as I went along, essentially as an exercise to hear what I sounded like. At least I didn?t bundle up my tapes and try to sell them, which is a bit more than I can say for Mr. Orange. With all the music out there waiting to be discovered, I can think of thousands of ways to spend the next 70 minutes of my life and none of them include listening to ?Thanksgiving.?
So while this offers hope for budding musicians out there ? if this can be released, anything can ? it also suggests a troubling development in the music business where the quality control function is being transferred out of the label?s A&R departments and onto us poor music critics. We?ve now become the gatekeepers for shielding the general public from unlistenable garbage like this. So unless you?re curious to hear what a comatose Bill Callahan might sound like after a frontal lobotomy removed all the quality control checks and balances functions from his brain, or get some kind of vicarious thrill from trying to convince yourself that untalented, overrated loners with grandiose dreams of becoming recording stars (Jandek, Daniel Johnston) are worthy of your time, effort and money, my advice is to leave Orange and his home recordings to himself and go listen to the latest (Smog) album instead. -- Jeff Penczak (27 June, 2006)