Tortoise: Millions Now Living Will Never Die (1996)


Tortoise
Millions Now Living Will Never Die; 1996
Thrill Jockey
My Rating: 100/100
Sounds. There was a time when Tortoise made records full of magical sounds. Of their three early masterpieces, MILLIONS NOW LIVING ranks as the greatest, easily the record I would recommend as an introduction to the grandeur of pure sound. The album’s six tracks etch landscapes in the mind of the listener, not mere hillsides or river valleys, but worlds where paradox meets parabola in the natural order. Eye has not seen, that sort of thing. The epic “Djed” launches Tortoise’s sonic expedition. Exploding like the big bang and slowly evolving into a mechanistic krautrock groove, things roll along pleasantly enough until around the 10 minute mark. The song breaks apart at this point, coalescing once again into a swirl of xylophones, vibes, keyboards, and bass guitar. It all ends in outer space, the song fading into nothingness on the back of a synthetic beat. “Glass Museum” follows in gorgeous fashion, calling to mind crystalline cities but generating enough serpentine tension to elicit a vague narrative. Incorporating nature’s own music, the mysterious “A Survey” somehow walks the fine line between humor and terror. “The Taut and the Tame” and “Dear Grandma and Grandpa”, though far better than mere filler, seem mostly to serve as a bridge to the devastating “Along the Banks of Rivers.” What began agreeably enough with “Djed” ends by weaving together threads of darkness, fear, paranoia, regret, nostalgia, and loneliness. It’s a fitting epilogue, an intricate web of style and emotions. All in all, MILLIONS is canon, a record of child-like wonder, and a classic of the art of sound. Why don’t you own it?
Cohesion (5/5)
Concept (5/5)
Consequence (5/5)
Consistency (5/5)
Tracks:
1. Djed (5/5)
2. Glass Museum (5/5)
3. A Survey (5/5)
4. The Taut and Tame (5/5)
5. Dear Grandma and Grandpa (5/5)
6. Along the Banks of Rivers (5/5)

Millions_Now_Living_Will_Never_Die_-_TortoiseTortoise
Millions Now Living Will Never Die; 1996
Thrill Jockey

My Rating: 100/100

Sounds. There was a time when Tortoise made records full of magical sounds. Of their three early masterpieces, MILLIONS NOW LIVING ranks as the greatest, easily the record I would recommend as an introduction to the grandeur of pure sound. The album’s six tracks etch landscapes in the mind of the listener, not mere hillsides or river valleys, but worlds where paradox meets parabola in the natural order. Eye has not seen, that sort of thing. The epic “Djed” launches Tortoise’s sonic expedition. Exploding like the big bang and slowly evolving into a mechanistic krautrock groove, things roll along pleasantly enough until around the 10 minute mark. The song breaks apart at this point, coalescing once again into a swirl of xylophones, vibes, keyboards, and bass guitar. It all ends in outer space, the song fading into nothingness on the back of a synthetic beat. “Glass Museum” follows in gorgeous fashion, calling to mind crystalline cities but generating enough serpentine tension to elicit a vague narrative. Incorporating nature’s own music, the mysterious “A Survey” somehow walks the fine line between humor and terror. “The Taut and the Tame” and “Dear Grandma and Grandpa”, though far better than mere filler, seem mostly to serve as a bridge to the devastating “Along the Banks of Rivers.” What began agreeably enough with “Djed” ends by weaving together threads of darkness, fear, paranoia, regret, nostalgia, and loneliness. It’s a fitting epilogue, an intricate web of style and emotions. All in all, MILLIONS is canon, a record of child-like wonder, and a classic of the art of sound. Why don’t you own it?

Cohesion (5/5)
Concept (5/5)
Consequence (5/5)
Consistency (5/5)

Tracks:

1. Djed (5/5)
2. Glass Museum (5/5)
3. A Survey (5/5)
4. The Taut and Tame (5/5)
5. Dear Grandma and Grandpa (5/5)
6. Along the Banks of Rivers (5/5)

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