Album review

The Special Goodness :
Land, Air, Sea . . .


The Special Goodness : Land, Air Sea . . .Since he was a little boy, Pat Wilson of Weezer fame longed to be in a band. In the years he was growing up he started - and inevitably ended - several bands and even experimented with electronic sounds when there were no people around to play instruments. The Special Goodness is the fruit of his labour, and after years of searching for the right partner for the band he eventually came across an old friend, Atom Willard (ex-Rocket From The Crypt). Together, and with several come-and-go bassists, including Murphy Karges of Sugar Ray, they have toured the US and crafted this enchanting new album; Land, Air, Sea . . .

This is truly mellow and chilled guitar pop, and certainly notable. Wilson and Willard have funnelled their collective ability into a potent mix of laid-back songs, inner musings and rising solos that makes for some fine soft rock. There is something special about this that touches you in a way most albums don't and will never; the level of enjoyment it offers triggers a notion that these summery songs are almost too good. The balance in songs is absolutely ideal: Unhurried and calming riffs quickly uncloak to become deep, rumbling breakdowns that compliment each other in a way that can only boost these personal tales.
    It's rather hard not to enjoy this record; its classic slices of American rock and roll worm their way inside before you even have a chance to listen to the album fully. Subject-wise there are relationship troubles, a questioning of the world and personal wants, all mixed with guitar solos that you will find yourself grinning at involuntarily. None of the songs are particularly loud and heavy, but it's the softer, sensitive tracks that rise from the pack with distinction. Whatever's Going On is one of the most stunning rock ballads of recent memory: "I don't belong in this world, no one does - that's the problem." The Special Goodness hit the balance perfectly with the lyrics as well; reflective and self-assessing, but never complicated to the point where it starts to dilute the power of the music. The simplicity makes the songs so much more accessible, and saves you taking a night school class in spirituality to even get the gist of Pat Wilson's crooning.
    It has to be said; there isn't one song on here that fails to deliver some warmth. But there are tracks that turn the heat of Land, Air, Sea . . . higher, such as Oops and the uplifting The Big Idea, although it's hard to decide which tracks should be rewarded for their contribution.

I honestly doubt this band will become as famous as either Weezer or Rocket From the Crypt, but if the world is just and fair, I'm sure we'll be seeing and hearing an awful lot more from these musical masterminds. Cherry-painted guitar pop and story weaving by the drove, this really is a special goodness.

:: Graham Drummond

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