Listening to a new album by one of your favorite artists can be a scary proposition. They may not live up to your expectations, or they may have changed their personnel or sound. The initial “Magic” that made you love their music the first time around, may be gone.
Luckily, Milk Drive has not only lived up to my expectations with their new album Waves, they have exceeded them. Their new album is a wonderful example of what can happen when a band matures. Everything that made them unique on Road from Home, is still present, but has improved.
Brian Beken, Noah Jeffires, Dennis Ludiker and Matt Mefford have always been consummate musicians – now they are becoming a consummate band. From the elegant vocals on “Run and Hide” to the poignant counter play of “Leavin’”, you can feel how these musicians have learned to complement each other’s performances and bring out the best in each other. “Tom’s Ranch” for example: instead of fading into the background like a lot of instrumental music, it makes you want to listen to it – like a lecture that you don’t fully understand but you can grasp its importance as well as the passion of the lecturer. And “Benny’s Bus” – Again, the musicianship is amazing – you are amazed by not only the complexity of the music itself but also of the mind-boggling craft that had to go into creating it.
For anyone to re-imagine music by the Beatles is both impertinent and arrogant – That said, “Dear Prudence” comes off as a wonderful tribute – and a reminder that not only is there an infinite amount of music possible, but also an infinite possibility of interpretation for what already exists. Also, I must shout out to Bil VornDick – the production and engineering on this album are top-notch. What may be the most amazing thing about this band is that they could do everything that they do around a camp-fire in the middle of the woods. I can’t wait for the next album!