Blake Miller, or Blake Anthony Ray Miller as you’ll find him on Myspace, out of Portland, Oregon offers this rythmically simple and melody focused collection of well written songs. This album exudes an intimate sound. The sound of a very good home recording that takes you to a 3rd floor apartment where music is playing with the windows open to the street on an early Spring day.
The songs are very simple and very effective in getting his thoughts across. The mood is seems to remain melancholy with the first 3 songs until almost halfway through when “Long Hair” begins playfully with a whistle and a toy piano. Then comes the vocals, speaking of childhood memories, with a brilliant use of reverb and a fuzzy backup vocal that works with the melody to give a clever marriage of 60s and modern folk. Truly one of the highlights of the album. A faster pace is kept with the following song “When The Sky Turns To Black (the rain is all around)”, although back to the darker tone that occurs throughout almost all the songs. There are no real surprises on the album except for “The Ghost of My Soul (my hands are shaking)” which is a blues/rock inspired number with heavily distorted guitars and a loosely played drum beat. Next comes “We Drove Through Winter” giving the most interesting and complex melody of all the songs and backed up by the most electronically influenced, yet still very acoustic, “A Golden Bird, A Wooden Floor, A Box of Skulls”. The end of the album ends slower than the beginning began with a slightly noisy and lurching instrumental.
The lyrics have a recurring theme of rain, sunshine, and weather related thoughts; even mentioning a tornado at one point. This seems to shape the mood of the album very well. A refreshingly raw and intimate work that feels like it was made on Blake Miller’s terms and in no way glossed up and over-produced for mass appeal. Blake Miller is a naturally gifted artist who is enviously able to put his thoughts into song. In one word; honest.