I’m giving a preliminary thumbs down to Trey Anastasio’s ‘Time Turns Elastic.’ Why preliminary? I’ve only listened to it once – maybe it’ll grow on me. That happens.
I was looking forward to hearing this record, which is billed as a composition for “for vocals, guitar and orchestra” by Trey and Don Hart. It’s orchestral rock, in other words, with the emphasis on orchestral.
One interesting thing about this record was that Trey also adapted Time Turns Elastic into a 14 minute song for Phish. After that tune was released, I consulted with MPomy to settle something: is this prog or not? MPomy wrote up a fine bit of commentary, which not only answered the question but also helped spark the creation of this blog.
I like the Phish adaption of “Time,” but, by my quick read of comments at iTunes, a lot of the band’s fans didn’t. “What the hell is this?” one guy said.
Well, if those folks didn’t like Phish’s rendition, I bet they are going to really have issues when/if they hear Trey’s full blown orchestral piece.
My problem with this one is that it feels a bit like Muzak: a bunch of rock songs that got arranged, like you’d hear at the Academy Awards or something.
A sort of related issue is role the guitar plays here. Trey had this to say about the project: ”Neither of us had ever heard anything that uses a guitar as a serious instrument intermingled with an orchestra in the same way one would write a concerto for a violin and orchestra.”
More accurate would be to say “uses rock guitar,” I think, because that’s what’s going on. Trey sounds great, definitely, but anytime he puts some rock/blues into his playing, the contrast with the strings and so on seems a little jarring to me.
That’s just after one listen though. And I definitely think this is a brave piece of music – no regrets at all about downloading and no diminution of my deep admiration for Trey and Phish.
Now, am I going to see the band when they play in Columbia, MD on 8/15? Couldn’t get tickets during the 12 minutes that they were available before selling out, and StubHub prices are scaring me off right now.