Liverpool Sound Collage - Review
By John Whelan

Engineers: Paul Hicks, Lord Dufas, and Youth
Produced by: Paul McCartney
I bought the CD tonight and...

First of all, don't expect to hear tracks like "Free As A Bird" or "Real Love" on this CD... the Liverpool Sound Collage is definitely a "side-dish" as Paul McCartney stated in the press releases. The Liverpool Sound Collage is indeed avant-guarde material which uses the "mixing concepts" done in the style of "Revolution #9" from the Beatles "White Album". If you enjoyed Paul McCartney's "Fireman Rushes", then you'll more than likely end up enjoying this album as well.

The CD contains tape loops of Beatle chatter, backwards loops, electronic and studio sound effects wizardry along with the use of a small but solemn angelic choir used in the background which appears intermittently throughout the collage.

"Free Now" occurs several times on this album (the "main track" for this appears at the end) and Paul McCartney seems to have written a very simple musical structure around the title and sings it like a black African hoping one day to break loose the chains of slavery. The band, Super Furry Animals was a good choice to bring in for this recording as they develop and successfully use strange sounds and rhythms that blend into Beatle chatter. Artistically speaking, the Super Furry Animal's creative juices are as intriguing as another band, "The Art of Noise" or "The Boomtown Rats" only difference here is that we are dealing with avant-guarde material. The only shortcoming on the CD occurs midway through the album when the went over the top with their "Star Wars" special sound effects. They might have tried using a sitar at this juncture or perhaps even moved into the direction of a more Moody Blues style just to add further variance to their concept.

One segment of the album called "Made Up" has Paul McCartney doing interviews in Liverpool which prove to be interesting at times. The interviews were conducted in an attempt to sound and appear aloof with the passerby's and it turns out reasonably good. This track is positioned well into the album and is the second last song found on the CD.

The last track "Free Now" struck me as song that probably would have made a great "B"-side to John Lennon's "Give Peace A Chance" simply because "Free Now" has a steady beat, weird guitar sounds, (not to mention George's studio chatter from "Think For Yourself" used as the intro to the song) along with electronic pastiches that is reminiscent of the experimental sounds from late1969. The song exits with the reappearance of the small but solemn angelic choir.

Liverpool Sound Collage is recommend only for completist and for those who truly enjoy avant-guarde music. If you were looking for rock or ballads on this album, you won't find it here.

Rating for LSC: 6.8 out of 10.

- John Whelan
August 31, 2000

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