Thornhill Review


Reviewed by: Kate Leahy

From Tue Aug 10 15:07:05 1999
Subject: Thornhill Musings . . .
From: Kate Leahy 
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1999 19:07:05 GMT

I just couldn't bite my tongue anymore :).
Well, they've done it.  'Thornhill' has replaced
'Wood' as my favorite Früvous album.  The guys have
truly outdone themselves, in my opinion.  A cohesive,
beatifully written, well-produced, masterfully
arranged thing, it is.

Half As Much:
Great opener; energetic and very similar to the live
version.  The vocal mix here is superb; it's quite the
ensemble song, and the mix is generous to each voice.

Sad Girl:
Slightly up-tempo, which really brings out the beat
and the overall feel.  Nice piano - it helped a lot
live and I think the recorded version benefits from it
too.  The liner notes make special mention of the
piano's restorer; it's sound is gorgeous.  Reminiscent
of much of 'Wood' orchestrationally.

You Can't Be Too Careful:
I enjoy this live, and I enjoy it recorded.  On my way
back to the office from Tower today, they played this
on 'XPN.  Dave's vocal is *fabulous* and the drums
come out a bit in the mix, which is nice.  I really
like the drum parts in this.

I Will Hold On:
Two words - backing vocals.  Not full-on, but a nice
medium.  Jian's vocal is passionate and clear.  Very,
very nice.

Another Dave triumph :).  Percussively, shades of Mike
hitting the stool with the hammer in "Bittersweet." 
Unfortunately, no banjo . . . but is that stand-up
bass I hear Murr playing?

When She Talks:
Once again, I stand in defense of this one.  I quote
Dave:  "This is a sweet, sweet song . . ." [1]  A bit
of distortion on Jian's vocal creates an ethereal mood
and a bit of detachment . . . like he's singing it in
his head.  The mini-solo on electric is an interesting
addition :).

Splatter, Splatter:
Took me back to Video Bargainville.  Mike's vocal is
pristine and perfect.  Not much to say about this one
- it's fantastic.

Independence Day:
I love this live, and I love it recorded as well.  Not
much difference from the live version; Murray's vocal
is slow and easy and passionate at the same time - it
suits the song well.

While I like this one, I think it kind of drags a
little.  It's almost seven minutes long (not to
suggest that we Americans have short attention spans
:) and Jian's vocal is kind of thin and sometimes
difficult to hear clearly.  The choruses are high
points . . . I dunno.  Maybe after I spend more time
with it.  I'm not surprised they don't do it live

Hate Letter:
The big surprise of the album, and what a lovely
surprise it is.  Dave shines.  Groovy and mellow with
harmonies that fill a room . . . Awesome :).

If Only You Knew:
I have a special place in my heart for this one.  It's
such a lovely song and backed with such heartfelt
emotion . . . the hand claps are a great addition :).

My Poor Generation:
Good way to end an album like this.  More of the
"Bittersweet" percussion.  Another kick-ass
performance out of Dave.  He rocks my world.

On a side note, has anyone been watching the sales
ranking on Amazon?  'Thornhill' jumped from 351 to 284
in a couple of hours.
Big things, my friends . . .


[1] David Matheson, The Trocadero, Philadelphia, PA,

Back to the Thornhill page