Bed of Roses - "The Kissing Tree"
By Dan Century
Bed of Roses is a side project of
My Scarlet Life keyboardist Preston Klik, recorded in
collaboration with many musical friends and other MSL members. Preston, for
those who don't recognise his name, is known for his session work -
contributing to recordings by bands like the Smashing Pumpkins and
Ministry - and his label, DivaNation, which has the potential to become
the next Wax Trax or 4AD.
The Kissing Tree is the first Bed of Roses album and
it is decidedly different from My Scarlet Life. Bed Of Roses lacks the pop song
structure and tremendous female vocals of Julie* and Christy of MSL. Like MSL
the music displays a broad range of influence and an amazing talent. Preston
orchestrates pianos, sitars, strings, guitars, chants, electronics, exotic
percussion, the sounds of Chicago during a rainstorm (very cool) and even real
parakeets, with a very experimental, purposeful, but never abrasive sound.
Preston collaborators include Julie, Paul and Amy from My
Scarlet Life, Lisa Feuer from black tape for a blue girl, and guitar
legend Fareed Haque.
The music, purposely so, has a truly "cinematic," emotion
stirring feel. If you let yourself get sucked into it you'll definitely feel
your emotions rising and falling with the music. In the liner notes Preston
suggests you listen to the album with headphones on, perhaps to give the music
your full attention, or so you can experience every nuance, but you'd be
missing a lot if you didn't listen to this album in your car or through your
stereo's speakers. Definitely share the experience with a friend.
The Kissing Tree is the type of album you will want to
listen to the whole record at once as the individual songs compliment each
other in tone and mood. The album moves from song to song as a movie progresses
scene to scene. It's a good record to chill out after a long night. A good
record to "come down" to. It Glows In My Hand is the only song that
stands apart from the rest - a trance inducing song with many layers of
instrumentation including standout bubbling, popping synths, and some creepy
spoken word from frequent DivaNation contributor TheImmortalSavant. The
chord progression on the title track, the Kissing Tree, is real tasty,
elegant and definitely inspirational.
I personally prefer more density and electronics to the
ambient and cinematic music I listen to. The album could use a little
"weirdness" too, but that's how I like it.
Fans of Bill Laswell and Brian Eno's more cohesive work will
enjoy this album for it's experimental and collaborative flavor. Fans of My
Scarlet Life shouldn't pass it up either. I wouldn't be surprised if Klik and
his pals get commissioned to score some films.
* Julie does appear on the title track, the Kissing
** Note that I wrote this review under the influence of two
packs of Tera-flu, which compliments the music nicely.
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Chicago, IL 60660