Saturday, May 24, 2014

The String Cheese Incident - Song in My Head

2014 -  SCI Fidelity Records

By Phillip Smith; May 24, 2014

Summer is almost upon us, and it is time to break out the jams.  One couldn’t ask for better timing than the tenth and newest offering, Song in My Head, from the String Cheese Incident.  The whole gang, with Michael Kang and Billy Nershi at the helm has returned to the studio for the sixth time, after waiting nine long years to bring us ten tracks of ear candy produced by Talking Heads’ keyboardist Jerry Harrison, to nibble on. These songs have been a part of their live shows, but have never been put to wax until now. 

One can surely expect the unexpected, when listening to The String Cheese Incident and imbibing of their special brew, which is infused with heaping helpings of bluegrass, and progressive rock along with dashes of country, calypso, and blues. This is certainly the case with “Colorado Bluebird Sky”.  With a countrified bluegrass beginning and ending, the bridge seemingly breaks free of those handcuffs, isolates itself from the rest of the song to toss out some spacy guitar licks and get a little trippy.

Feel good song, “Let’s Go Outside”, is launched from a poppy and funky launch pad in which the vocals are borderline rap, much like the Red Hot Chili Peppers are known for. This one is very catchy.  And speaking of catchy, the self-prophesizing song “Song in My Head”, with its old school SCI familiarity, is a very welcome addition to the album. 

“Can’t Wait Another Day”, one of my favorite tracks, and a perfect jam song, is Afro-groove at the core.  I love Keith Moseley’s bass line along with the interesting umbrella of percussion built by Jason Hann and Michael Travis that guides the song along its path.  “Rosie”, another favorite, is post-disco dance music served up trance style.  It has a splash of Latin influence as well.  Kyle Hollingsworth tackles the keys full force reminding me of the funky R&B Eighties band, Cameo.  

As mentioned earlier, one really doesn’t know what might be lurking around the corner as SCI advances from song to song.  That’s what makes Song in My Head so fun and interesting, and why a spot on my summer play list has been secured for it.‎

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