Thursday, October 24, 2013

Brad's Interiors (2013 Reissue): The TSIS Review

Interiors is a rock album.  I feel the need to make that statement because I had to use a thesaurus to write my review of Shame being that it transcended categorization.  No so here.  Sure, Shawn lays down some gorgeous vocals and piano, but his soul is second fiddle to the rock. In fact, that's not the only way that Interiors differs greatly from its predecessor.

As much of a fan as I am for albums cut on the fly (The Black Keys' Rubber Factory, Mojo Nixon's Horny Holidays), Interiors benefits greatly from time.  There was no need to jam work in between Pearl Jam shows.  By 1997, Pearl Jam and Satchel were between albums.  There was time to write.  There was time to tweak.  There was time to bring in a Who's Who list of Pearl Jam collaborators (Nick DiDia, Brendan O'Brien, Mike McCready).

Interiors eases back on the piano and pushes forward with the guitar and drums.  Looking over the liner notes, I think, "of course, Mike McCready and Brendan O'Brien pick up guitars so they're gonna rock out," but as I listen to the album, the songs they helped out with are the songs where the blues influence holds strong.  And for those of your concerned, only one of the four songs mixed by O'Brien fade out.

For real headbanging fun, try Lift, Sweet Al George, and Those Three Words, but for all the moves toward rock, Brad holds onto their sound with The Day Brings, Some Never Come Home, and Gossard's favorite, I Don't Know.  The remaster brings out the additional musicians and production that went into this album.  If it was your favorite before (and I don't see how it wasn't), it'll blow your mind in entirely new ways now.

As for the two bonus tracks Séance, featuring Stone on vocals and ... oh yeah, ... a bicycle horn, is a great, fun track that showcases Stone's penchant for exploring new styles and genres, and Heaven Help is a soulful, soft lament that will make you lament the fact that Brad didn't put it on the album.

Brad's reissue of Interiors is available in CDvinyl, or through iTunes.  T-shirts and reissues of Shame and Welcome to Discovery Park are also available at MerchNow.