Hansen, Scott - d2r


Year of Release: 2002
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 79:43:00

You'd think that the sparse, musically upbeat, if lyrically downbeat, acoustic guitar and voice tracks would be the most interesting and appealing pieces on this self-released album from Scott Hansen. But it is, in fact, the harsh, angular and downright weird guitar and effects experiments that are more interesting ? and what would make this progressive, especially if your definition (as does mine) go beyond the prog rock context. Yes, if these instrumental excursions were sculptures or paintings they'd be ugly beauties, dark and angry, full of sharp-edges and impossible curves. As if M C Escher had gone insane. Or as if Jackson Pollack worked in blacks and greys only. "Oscar Winning Soundtrack" sounds like it was taken from nature ? peeking in on the secret lives of whales in full song, or elephants. Or both, singing to each other about the cruelties of man being inflicted upon them. After a time, though, even these could become trying since there really isn't many ways to describe these passages other than the way I have.

That isn't to say that as a guitarist Scott Hansen is bad ? take special note of the instrumental "intro" portion of "Intro/Quiet," and there is a certain appealing fragility to the "Quiet" part of the track, too. As a musician on those acoustic vocal pieces, one can detect a bit of influence from Lou Reed, without the insightful wry cynicism. Especially on the sketchy "Walk On The Wildside"-like performance on "Letter To You." I suppose it work better if Hansen sang a bit better; said by someone about whom he would likely say the same thing? other than the "work better" part, as I'll admit that Hansen is a better guitarist than I. I did often think of a joke SNL sketch or the comedic warblings of Adam Sandler, though Hansen isn't comedic in the least. It's music for the lonely outsider, especially as revealed in "Freak." Pretty much, aside from some small differences, these vocal tracks are the same. The lyrics change, but the rhythm and phrasing is the same. And maybe it the same song with different lyrics, trying to find the right combination?"Angry" sounds like a rough Nirvana demo, both musically and lyrically, like something that could have easily been an outtake from Nevermind? The rocking "Wannabe like it's '83" comes a little too late, but is distinctive by being the only peace to feature an instrument other than guitar, and that is drums (though not real ones) ? it's a track Hansen isn't sure why he included?

d2r ("detour") is the kind of release you listen to once and say, "oh, okay," and probably never play again? except maybe to sequence the guitar experimentations to create your own dark and disturbed soundtrack to some non-musical artistic endeavor. But it's also the kind of album that seems to have more interest for the musician himself than for outsiders. It's like looking at a friend's vacation pictures a flat ocean beneath a cloudless and detail sky for shot after shot after shot. That is, it's a collection of undeveloped ideas that is trying to make some statement, but only getting part of the way there. To throw another simile at you, it'd be like finding a writer's scribbled notes and publishing them as a novel ? disjointed moments too fragmentary to be even called vignettes. Hansen's pieces are a just a little more developed than that, but you get the idea. Not that Hansen is trying to convince you that this is a fully released album, mind you. He is well aware that these are sketches and ideas?

While one hates to squelch another's artistic endeavor, I find little really to recommend this to others. If we were looking at Hansen's career decades later, finding the rough demos of what became well-loved classics, it might be different ? that is, of some historical value. As it is, if Hansen had passed away and this was a posthumous release ? it's not (though I did check :-) ), it would likely be of interest only to close friends and family. Think I'm being cruel? In checking to make sure this wasn't a posthumous release, I came across an even more savage review? Given the nature of this release, I'm not docking points for production ? it's hard to criticize a release that has been recorded live without overdubs for sounding like a live recording without overdubs. And thus?


Tracklisting:
3013 / Aaah-700151usa (V.2) / Mystery / Oscar Winning Soundtrack / River / Elh100400 / Letter To You / Lucasfilm Sf Extravaganza / Intro/Quiet / G. Richter Dilemma / Manet / Industrial Space / Freak / Jschnabelstudio / 700151usa (V.3) / One More Critique / Dream Like Yesterday / Gehryhouse / Can't You See / Tailspin / Lost Soul / Traveling Conceptual Artist / Fragile / Fallingwater / What Can I Do? / Theoretical Minimalist Landscape / Sleep-Dream / Brown Dog / Pretending / Imaginary avant garde theatre & dance / Intro/Hey John / Lavender mist / Angry, May '97 / Guston's bulbous lima bean heads / Moment / Wannabe like it's '83 / 700151USA (v.1) / Goobuy4now

Musicians:
Scott Hansen - Steinberger Spirit Gu-Deluxe, Parker Nightfly, Hohner HW-300S, and an Alvarez acoustic along with various processors

Discography:
d2r (2002)

Genre: Other

Origin US

Added: November 16th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Score:
Artist website: www.myspace.com/scotthansen
Hits: 497
Language: english

  

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