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 Post subject: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Tue October 08, 2013 8:38 pm 
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This seems worth visiting in its own thread, now that we've actually heard the songs, and not just imagined that percussion in pendulum comes from seal clubbing and puppy raping because iBoB thought it will sound good on the radio.


What are some of the specific things on the album you think work well, and what don't you liike?

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 Post subject: Re: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Tue October 08, 2013 8:40 pm 
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There's this certain harshness that comes through when things get loud and the mix gets busy. It makes me want to turn it down, not up, which is a problem.

And like I said in another thread, while not the same gloss that's on Backspacer, there's this very sterile gloss that coats everything on this album.


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 Post subject: Re: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Tue October 08, 2013 8:43 pm 
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it bothers me a lot less than most, but I am starting to hear that. For me production issues are always secondary to how much I dig the songs (exhibit A: my fondness for S/T), but I am starting to notice what is turning some people off.

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 Post subject: Re: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Tue October 08, 2013 8:52 pm 
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cutuphalfdead wrote:
There's this certain harshness that comes through when things get loud and the mix gets busy. It makes me want to turn it down, not up, which is a problem.

And like I said in another thread, while not the same gloss that's on Backspacer, there's this very sterile gloss that coats everything on this album.


This. By and large, I find these songs so much stronger than the Backspacer ones, these things don't bother me. But two things are generally sticking out to me as uncomfortable: the warbly 60s keyboard thing that appears twice on LB. There's really no reason for it to be there. And the keyboards on Future Days. I actually don't mind them. But when is a Casio keyboard ever a better idea than a real piano? The good news is that there is a nice delay / tremolo, whatever effect that is, which makes the keyboard sound more distant and soft. It's certainly better than Wrigley. I also don't mind a fadeout here, on the end of the album, as it does sound "epic" in the right way. But it should be much, much longer and a much more "grand" finale if that's what they wanted. It cuts off abruptly on the end of the fadeout too. If BoB loves fadeouts so much, he should have better and more sensitive control. We already know he has a heavy hand.

All that said, I like the album about as much as I wanted to so I'm happy. But I can't help wondering how much I'd love it if BoB hadn't been involved. Well, this album sounds better than S/T so maybe not. If this album is too busy in terms of extra instrumentation, S/T was far too sparse, bland, uninteresting sonically. Those songs were mostly not strong enough to withstand "just a band in a room". These songs are mostly suited to exactly that.

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 Post subject: Re: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Tue October 08, 2013 8:56 pm 
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I don't like the piano flanking future days.

I do love the lightning bolt space thing.



What is that whale sound in sirens? Is that stone, or is that a BoB thing. I love that part.

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 Post subject: Re: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Tue October 08, 2013 9:05 pm 
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I laughed in the Judd Apatow interview when Jeff made the comment, "I think those are the only ones without keyboards"


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 Post subject: Re: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Tue October 08, 2013 9:06 pm 
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bodysnatcher wrote:
I laughed in the Judd Apatow interview when Jeff made the comment, "I think those are the only ones without keyboards"


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 Post subject: Re: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Tue October 08, 2013 9:14 pm 
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The keyboard/ piano on yellow moon are awful. And that he didn't tell mike to tone that solo down is annoying. Whole song is way more bombastic than it needed to be imo.

That unnecessary tock tock that pops up for some reason in the middle of infallible. It also sounds kinda quiet and insubstantial as a whole too.

Every part of sirens.

The end of pendulum is weirdly abrupt.

Can never be said enough, fd intro/outro.

Do you think he has any input on vocal melodies? Or is that all Eddie?


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 Post subject: Re: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Tue October 08, 2013 9:55 pm 
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It's an extremely calculated album. Nothing on it sounds like it wasn't purposely put there. It's hard to say how much of this is BO'B. I think there are a few subtle instances where he adds something to the songs, but for the most part he is a cancer. What he does on Lightning Bolt and Future Days is evil. Pure evil.

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 Post subject: Re: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Wed October 09, 2013 1:25 am 
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A lot of the glossy additions are really dumb, except for Infallible which I think it works well because it SUITS THE STYLE. That's the worst part about the BO'B production: yes it might sound sleek or accessible or cool or whatever, but he's lost the ability to produce for styles. He just wants the whole goddamn thing to sound like a pop FM record. Mind Your Manners is a perfect example: it's an awesome punk rock song mixed like a mainstream rock track. Get some fucking dirt on it! Apart from that the production on Pendulum, Infallible and surprisingly Let The Records Play works quite well.


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 Post subject: Re: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Wed October 09, 2013 8:27 am 
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Getaway - I like that I don't notice O'Brien. I like that he didn't fade the end of Getaway. I still hold a grudge about Life Wasted. I like how upfront Jeff's bass is in the mix.

Mind Your Manners - I like that the only thing that I notice about O'Brien's touch on this one is that the guitars lack some grit for the style of song it is. I again like hearing Jeff's bass in the mix.

My Father's Son - I'm annoyed that as a producer he didn't have them do something about the "island music" wtf moment in the song. I like what's going on with Jeff's bass yet again in the mix. This song isn't the only injection of some weird island music vibe in the midst of a song that seems out of place. My complaints about the first three songs are pretty minimal regarding O'Brien.

Sirens - ...and then Sirens. I'll start by saying that I like what comes across from Ed in this one from a vocal standpoint. The piano additions in this one are mostly tastefully done to me. I think it was made with an eye toward forcing it to be usable in soundtracks, etc. However, I'm bored of this song already and I think part of that is just the song itself but part of it is just how it's been polished into something meant to be so vanilla. O'Brien's cheez is present in this song, but it isn't as vulgar here as I find it elsewhere on this album.

Lightning Bolt
- O'Brien starts to get pretty egregious here. O'Brien's contributions on the front end of the song give it some sort of Rocky or Eye of the Tiger vibe... basically like it's the intro to a soundtrack. I don't think it would have this same vibe at all in the beginning if it did not have O'Brien's cheezy playing. Then we get some silly Dr. Who woo-ooo sounds starting about 38 seconds into the song that have been added after the fact. I actually like the driving maracas or whatever that start at about 55 seconds in. I don't like the layer of solid tone guitar or whatever that is put atop the first little solo. I hate the tinkling keys O'Brien adds around 1:40 into the song. They greatly "wussify" the song. This is the sort of shit I think of when I see others saying things like "adult contemporary." These sorts of additions are bad news for Pearl Jam's music and sound. And as the song progresses we get another big stupid helping of Dr. Who woo-ooo sounds. I think this song starts getting crowded due to O'Brien's additions and I find myself losing Jeff in the mix as things go along. O'Brien fills in space in this song that doesn't need filled or that needs to be filled by the actual members of the band. Trust me, they're capable of it and the song wouldn't sound as "old" (as in adult contemporary) if O'Brien wasn't so busy trying to squeeze himself and little sounds into every nook of this song. I also don't think that the banging trashcan sound is very necessary at the end, but that's probably a Matt choice. Then with all this build... we get a fade out? Grrr.

Infallible - This one is a bit of an oddity overall. There's some added sounds in here that I think would be better replaced by other things the band can do. Again, we get some of that island music vibe coming in at 3:05 into the song that seems rather odd. There's also background vocal things going on that don't seem like Pearl Jam to me. They seem like they were coached a little too hard to do something like that, but I'm only speculating. There's a few too many pops and clicks as we head into the fade too.

Pendulum - I like that this song was allowed breathing room and that it has tons of atmosphere. The guitars haven't been cleaned to utter perfection and they sound better for it. Around 1:43 when Eddie sings "agoooooooooo" it sounds like something went wrong in the production phase on his voice. Absolutely love the acoustic guitar brought to the foreground as the "Ah ah ah" bit starts. Jeff's bass lines are allowed to weave through this song perfectly. This song is allowed by O'Brien to have more space and layers that don't have to always be colliding or running over other ones like they do on songs like Lightning Bolt. As a side note... listen to Pendulum followed immediately by Cold Concession and I think you get one hell of a great vibe going on.

Swallowed Whole - Too many colliding layers in this one on the production end of things. The xylophones or whatever it is around 1:01 are unnecessary and clutter things up. We'll never hear them again besides on this album too. The "d-d-drown" around 1:13 sounds digitally fake. Even if it isn't, it needs another take of it. There are times in this song when stuff just gets too piled up. We get another strange musical moment in this one at around 2:21 where O'Brien's additions on the keys almost add a country atmosphere to the song for a moment before the song is reclaimed by the band. This one needed a couple layers peeled back off of it and less small flourishes by O'Brien.

Let the Records Play - A horrible thing happens in this song around 36 seconds in. As we get past the half way mark on this album it increasingly seems that O'Brien can't stand not hearing himself on a song after about 30 seconds and makes sure he's on it one way another. The song goes from full swagger to neutered sitcom music in a flash and O'Brien's contributions coincide with that moment again. Then we get back to the swagger for awhile before we cheez the fuck out again. Oh what could have been... instead I find myself needing to swallow some of my puke as O'Brien's cheez manifests. Thankfully the song closes out strong, but it also gets faded to try and make way for another lame idea of O'Brien's.

Sleeping By Myself - ...yep, Sleeping By Myself. It wreaks of that dreaded "adult contemporary" label. Not only that, it's a solo song contorted to be on this album because O'Brien wanted it. It sounds like a commercial jingle that you'd hear around Christmas time other than the lyrics. This is another stinker that wreaks of O'Brien and we have to also realize that it knocked off some other potential new track. Fuck you, O'Brien. :)

Yellow Moon - A hint of that weird island music returns on this one... like Jimmy Buffett was walking around the studio and I honestly don't know where it is coming from. I'd not be the least bit surprised to read that either one of the band members had been delving into that genre or O'Brien's screwed with it in his past and introduced it into Lightning Bolt, but it's strangely present in a few spots on this album. Overall, I'm okay with this song as far as O'Brien's concerned. He's there, but not vulgar on the song.

Future Days - And then we get O'Brien at his most vulgar and egregious on this album. To close out a Pearl Jam album with its final song we get an O'Brien intro. It's not brilliant and it's not necessary. Then we get the funky island music shit reintroduced again into this song around 56 seconds in. I'm inclined to think this is O'Brien's influence, but I honestly don't have a good sense of where it is coming from. Then we get a weird transition from that island music vibe into a country or folk music vibe around 1:14. It's that weepy kind of music that seems at odds to the trembling island sound just seconds earlier. 1:38 that light island music style guitar creeps back. What the hell is going on? Then we get the organ sound, trembling island music sound, keys, then some strings before looping around, etc.... in other words, this song is a bit of a clusterfuck. Especially on this particular album. Oh but wait, then we get the last finale of the album and guess who is missing from it? That's right... Pearl Jam is missing from it. Instead we get an O'Brien outro to the album from 3:58 - 4:22 on the final song of the album. I don't understand how anyone could think this was a good thing or that there isn't a problem that has developed with having O'Brien as Pearl Jam's producer. This song is the most obvious example of Eddie and the O'Briens making a song rather than Pearl Jam making a song.

Now on a more macro level... this album doesn't flow very well after the first few songs. The transition from My Father's Son into Sirens is brutal. The end of the album is a bit tough to sit through and is rather flat or dead on arrival. The final three songs limp toward the conclusion and two of three are dripping with O'Brien's cheez. I like Yellow Moon well enough, but it's placement is bad between the songs where it is located. I think O'Brien's done some good work getting everyone's instruments and Eddie's voice sounding clear. I think O'Brien's done a particularly good job with Jeff's sound on this album. Where this album falters most is when O'Brien wants the spotlight and where there are cheezy bits either thrown into the middle of songs or layered over the top of them.

I think I've pointed out plenty of reasons why I think it is way past time for Pearl Jam to look for a new producer they are not so familiar with and comfortable with. They need to be challenged in some new ways and need to be working with somebody who doesn't even remotely view himself as their missing band member... ever.


Last edited by Soulfire on Wed October 09, 2013 5:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Wed October 09, 2013 9:27 am 
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stip wrote:
I don't like the piano flanking future days.

I do love the lightning bolt space thing.



What is that whale sound in sirens? Is that stone, or is that a BoB thing. I love that part.


I do love that whale sound. I thought I was the only one hearing that. I think it's Stones part heavily distorted.


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 Post subject: Re: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Wed October 09, 2013 9:49 am 
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Do we know if Boom is on the record??

I think O`Brien (if every keyboard/piano) is him is good in some tracks and not so good in others. I think Future Days could have been just Acoustic With maybe some slide from Stone og Mike.
Sounds good on Lightning bolt, Sirens and bridge in My fathers son


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 Post subject: Re: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Wed October 09, 2013 10:03 am 
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bucketfinck wrote:
Do we know if Boom is on the record??

I think O`Brien (if every keyboard/piano) is him is good in some tracks and not so good in others. I think Future Days could have been just Acoustic With maybe some slide from Stone og Mike.
Sounds good on Lightning bolt, Sirens and bridge in My fathers son

We have been told it is just BoB

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 Post subject: Re: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Wed October 09, 2013 10:04 am 
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Nice post, soulfire

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 Post subject: Re: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Wed October 09, 2013 10:18 am 
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There's an awful lot of Eno type shimmering bell sounds here and ther, which then boil to the surface on FD.

I'm just not feeling them.

And the drum sound on LB is too tight/harsh. It should have balls but it sounds too thin.

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 Post subject: Re: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Wed October 09, 2013 10:30 am 
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 Post subject: Re: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Wed October 09, 2013 11:25 am 
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stip wrote:
I don't like the piano flanking future days.

I do love the lightning bolt space thing.



What is that whale sound in sirens? Is that stone, or is that a BoB thing. I love that part.

That is stone.

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 Post subject: Re: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Wed October 09, 2013 11:38 am 
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stip wrote:
Nice post, soulfire


It was a good post. I don't think SBM knocked any other song off, by the way, I think the album would've been 11 tracks if they didn't put it on. But still, good post.

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 Post subject: Re: BoB's contributions to Lightning Bolt
PostPosted: Wed October 09, 2013 11:40 am 
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dimejinky99 wrote:
There's an awful lot of Eno type shimmering bell sounds here and ther, which then boil to the surface on FD.

I'm just not feeling them.

And the drum sound on LB is too tight/harsh. It should have balls but it sounds too thin.


I like my drum tones to be trebley and hard-edged, personally, so I don't mind that. The Eno shimmering I agree with, though, and it should be buried further in the mix on FD.

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