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New Ways of Letting Go

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New Ways of Letting Go

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Michael Zapruder's music is a continual reminder that the song is at the heart of the matter. By pushing the classic envelopes of melody, harmony and song structure, Zapruder's new record delivers eleven gems that fuse the intricate song-craftsmanship of his earlier work with all the tones and colors of a handpicked orchestra. Known as the Rain of Frogs, this unlikely collection of the Bay Area's finest includes Nate Query from the Decemberists, Jonathan Segal from Camper Van Beethoven, Scott Pinkmountain from Pink Mountain, Scott Solter of Tiny Telephone, Jon Bernson from Ray's Vast Basement, and some fifteen others. With this group around him, Zapruder leads us outdoors, into songs that are strangely removed, impossibly familiar, sometimes violent, frequently sublime and unconsciously personal. Using his own mental trials as a torch, Zapruder explores the narrow footpath connecting insanity and everyday life, presenting a stream of narrators who report back on their findings, often with strange and enigmatic results. Over the course of the record, a cumulative sense of internal clarity emerges, as the lyrical scenarios interact with masterful arrangements of complex and deceptive beauty.

Review

It's probably not too much of an overstatement to hang the genius tag on multiinstrumentalist Michael Zapruder. After all, this is the guy who wrote, recorded and posted a song a week for an entire year back in 1999, before that sort of thing became a matter of course. For his first album in four years, New Ways of Letting Go, Zapruder has assembled an Impossible Missions Force of San Francisco musical talent (including the Decemberists' Nate Query, Camper Van Beethoven's Jonathan Segal, Tiny Telephone's Scott Solter and Ray s Vast Basement's Jon Bernson) to realize his unique pop vision. New Ways of Letting Go is a masterful blend of the piano balladry of Tom Waits ("The Alchemist"), the multi-genre brilliance of Rufus Wainwright ("Elm Yellows"), the early baroque pop lilt of the Bee Gees ("On the Arm of a Burning City"), and the broad range of the Beatles' solo personas ("Shepherd s Purse"). For anyone who has found themselves completely smitten with the pop wonder of the Shins or Stew, Zapruder's Rain of Frogs will stake out a similar patch of soul. --Amplifier Magazine

I've fallen in love with New Ways of Letting Go. It's gorgeous, uplifting, well-wrought, and magical. Spend your money on this. You won't be disappointed. --Delusions of Adequacy

There's something eerie about a very large group of musicians getting together and releasing records that transcend all of their previous works by leaps and bounds. Michael Zapruder's Rain Of Frogs is a Bay Area collective that creates music that is at once likeable and thoughtful, based around the songwriting prowess of Michael Zapruder himself... The man that brought you the wonderfully off-center musical experiment of writing and producing a song every week for a year called 52 Songs (www.52songs.org). In Short, Zapruder borders on creative genius, and Rain Of Frogs only stands to raise that genius to a near mythical level. Michael Zapruder's Rain Of Frogs has put together a modern masterpiece of sound that draws heavily on various past sources while maintaining its own unique voice. Scott Solter (of John Vanderslice fame) mixed the record at Vanderslice's Tiny Telephone studio, working his magic and balancing every sound perfectly, assembling an extremely well-balanced and great sounding record. If this music is any indication of what the future holds, the big boys of the industry would be well advised to pay a little bit more attention to Zapruder and his musical collective. --Hybrid Magazine

New Ways of Letting Go