Assemblage 23 - Storm
Assemblage 23 returns with his 4th full length album (to be honest, I'm just sort of guessing here. Four sounds good (I really liked Contempt, the first one, hated failure, which was next, and then began to warm up again to the 3rd, Defiance)). Soft melodic sad beats intermix with his soft melodic sad vocals, and Assemblage 23's Tom Shear settles firmly into the metaphoric soft plushness that I envision the top of the North American synthpop mountain to be like. Storm gives out what is wanted without pushing any envelopes or radically altering the status quo.
The lyrics mix apology, hope, regret and ambition with some mild anger and accusations, and reveal the storm (thunder rather than hurricane or tornado) of emotions unleashed within Tom Shear's brain.
Within the Storm there is a positive element that overcomes, in spite of the tests and reality of the world. Perhaps it’s a statement about Assemblage 23’s own place in the world.
Track 10, entitled 30kft, sits apart from the rest of the album. It is a slow, touching song about a man (I'm assuming) who is in a plane that is about to crash, but takes the time to phone his wife (I'm assuming), gets the answering machine, and uses those fleeting moments to say some lovely things, and make a couple of rhymes. "I'm not certain how much time I have left, so I'll be brief/I'm sorry if this message only amplified your grief." Rhyming in moments of sheer panic is an impressive thing, although the need to make that one last call is an interesting phenomenon as well. But then again, I'm not a cell phone person and don't really understand the cell phone people. With death approaching so quickly, if I could overcome the fear, I would wish to find a moment of real freedom, and in freedom a moment of uniqueness. However, as within this song, chances would be that I too would only have meaningless clichés to express. I wouldn't be as lovely and touching, cliché or not cliché.
Squid @ Dec 2004