I was going to write about how Cool Hand Luke’s 2007 release The Balancing Act begins with its best song (also called “The Balancing Act”), then falls off completely for more than an hour.
Kanye West’s Yeezus leaked today, and while I’m a strong advocate for purchasing music, I have no problem downloading leaks. I make it a point to purchase afterward, though. I couldn’t resist in this case, considering what I heard on Saturday Night Live. “Black Skinhead” and “New Slaves” are two of the most raw and edgy Kanye tracks to date. Say what you will about the man’s ego or his impending spawn with what many consider to be the end of credible entertainers as we know them (or maybe that’s just me), but he’s one of the great musicians of our generation. Not hip-hop or rap artist. Artist in general. PRINT THAT.
Anyway, that’s what I’m focused on today. The Balancing Act is… not something I would listen to anymore. I found myself mentally tuning out as I listened through it, and that was before the leak.
Consider this: CHL’s 2001 album I Fought Against Myself contained a song called “The Numbing Agent.” That was a killer, well done post-hardcore tune. That whole album harkens back to a time when the band actually was better fit and able to pull off screaming and post-hardcore.
Balancing Act is an album with a piano for a spine. Any attempt at recreating their past is one that is done in an attempt at placating an audience when they didn’t necessarily have to anymore. People grow up. Tastes change.
It just seems to me that an album like Balancing Act is one by a band that is stuck in its old ways, but were able to break out of them on Of Man.
Go listen to Yeezus instead. You might end up having a more authentic spiritual experience.
From The Balancing Act, this is “I’m Not Ready” –
Standout tracks: “The Balancing Act” or “A Floating Smile”
Weakest track: “Case of Emergency” or “10 or 40”
RIYL: Cool Hand Luke’s Of Man or other piano-based bands who occasionally scream.