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MP3 Craig Wisda - Babylon Falling

Retro Alternative, Pre-Postmodern Rock, 1970s-Style Concept Album

12 MP3 Songs
ROCK: 70''s Rock, ROCK: Hard Rock

Leonard Cohen Meets Lynyrd Skynyrd?
By Dean Stefan

Okay I’m cracking the seal... I’m popping Babylon Falling into my CD drive. I''ll give you my overall, first listening reactions, in real time. So I’m writing my comments as I listen to it the first time. I''m sure initial fave songs will later change. They always do.

Love the London Calling/Elvis Presley inner sleeve picture.

Hear The Angels Sigh -- love it. It’s a Spoilers song. I like that Craig used my vocal echo part, “I hear, I hear.... the angels...the angels sigh.” ... Didn’t steal my guitar solo. Craig’s is much better.

By The Rivers of Babylon -- Completely different from the Melodians song on the Jimmy Cliff soundtrack to The Harder They Come. Similar theme though.

I love the part on City Streets -- near the end, after the vocal stops, and the instruments come back in -- the build reminds me of an old Grass Roots-type record.

Sing A New Song -- great one. I was singing along.

Hand of Destruction - this one needs to grow on me. All the end-of-the-world stuff is hard to get past at first listening. I know Craig’s writing about Babylon, destruction, souls and nations, but I have no idea what he’s singing about. The Apocalypse? Did I leave out the tip of the hat to Barry Maguire? I hear it.

Feet of Clay -- love the White Rabbit opening coupled with the mariachi trumpets. I sense a heavy Charo-meets-Herb Alpert influence. Crazy guitar stuff happening. Pedal steel? I''m thinking -- get this stuff to a Christian record company. Though I’m not sure if he’s towing the party line, Christian wise, or just using the imagery -- maybe it''s all some veiled innuendo?

Fiery Furnace -- I’m liking this one - especially the opening. By now I''m thinking this is some kind of song cycle abut religious stuff. A Moody Blues-Floyd-the Who''s Tommy-type theme album. Again, until the lyrics sink in, I’m not sure what this is all about, lyric wise. I like the "he''s a vain little king, conceited every night and day, etc..." chorus. This may turn out to be a fave track. Very nice layers of acoustic guitars, very Who-like sound -- shades of Behind Blue Eyes on the Who’s Next album. Oh yeah - I like this track.

Writing On The Wall -- digging the wah wah intro. Love the distant echoey Phil Spector snare drum. Nice wah wah fills. More stuff about kings taking falls. No idea what this is all about. Biblical? A metaphor for George Bush and modern events? Must listen a few times more before I’ll get it. "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin?" No idea what that means or what I''m hearing. Is this ancient Aramaic? Nice guitar interplay on the ending.

Daniel Prayed - I like the Alan Lomax field recording-meets-reggae sound. I like the low register Craig voice. Very nice vocal arrangement. Nice Amazing Grace guitar solo. Now I’m thinking I''d like to hear a Craig Wisda Arhoolie/Takoma/Folkways album. Very strong track.

Babylon Will Fall - San Francisco 1967 intro -- the Dead, Quicksilver. More Babylon and warriors and end of the world stuff. Does Craig know something I don''t? Should I be packing supplies? Nice middle -- I like the Jim Morrison call-and-response with the wah wah guitar. Nice wah wah solo. Gotta listen to this one again. Okay, I’m listening again. I think this is a fave. Nice melody, nice chords. Has a nice anthem kinda feel. Sounds like a pop love song replaced with "heavy" lyrics.

Your Treasure Waits For You -- love the harmonica intro. Johnny Cash vocal. Heavy Hoyt Axton influence? Dylan Planet Waves sound. Forever Young, etc. Or is that Faron Young? Love the twangy Duane Eddy guitar. -- Hawaiian slack? Pedal steel? Dobro? Yeah, that’s a swinging track.

Before the World Began - Leonard Cohen meets Lynyrd Skynyrd? More of the end of the world -- I''m getting nervous now. Is this the "Left Behind" series of audio tapes? I feel the epic wrap up. I can’t wait for the orchestral version, with the angelic choir. I hear the Philharmonic a la "Tommy." Ah, now the Rivers of Babylon reprise...very very nice.

Well those are my initial reactions. Need to listen more to get all the lyrics. But I feel the epic quality and the thematic unity. Great stuff.

Four and a half stars, maybe five if I can figure out what the lyrics are about.

Dean Stefan
Alleged Spoilers Leader
January 15, 2006

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