They Might be Teardrop Explodes?
I've held off writing a review of Prepare as I couldn't work out who it reminded me of. Like, many recent Linnell songs it's mostly a solo song, with the band as a back up and the "upclose" effect on the vocal that he first used on stuff like Factory Showroom and State Songs. It's not a bad song, but I can see why it was left off to Nanobots, thematically it's essentially a rewrite of Older, and it's no where in the league of that classic song. Melodically it rather plods. The lyrics are the ramblings of a distracted autistic and the vocals have a kind of bombast and theatric that reminded me of...and I couldn't work out who. Finally it hit me. Julian Cope. Linnell is aware of his work having name checked him Money for Dope. (Mr Tuck)
JL's like, "hey guys, want to play over my MIDI file, replace the drum/bass with live drum/bass, play these synth chords on your guitars?" Happens all the time these days. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 23:19, October 15, 2015
There's a good essay waiting to be written about how songs evolve in a group format. Flans seems (and this an educated guess) that he goes to the band as much as Linnell in terms of arranging his songs, where Linnell's do seem more fully formed more often than not. Linnell reminds me of Paul McCartney in his Beatle years 65-70 when song was pretty much fully formed and the band (to George Harrison's annoyance were told what to play). As I've said before they both suffer a bit from this. Linnell often ends up with the band playing chopped chords all over his stuff (as if by numbers) although some of the drums are innovative. Flans songs can end up being very middle of the road in arrangement. (Mr Tuck)
Yeah, I think it's pretty complicated. A lot of JLs Nanobots songs sounded pretty organic... But he was *always* arranging the hell out of everything, I mean Apollo 18 is basically a MIDI record. All the state songs band organ tracks were transcribed from midi too. The only time I feel he let his guard down with band arrangements was during the John Henry era.
Like I said, though, I feel like it's very complex. The only times it doesn't seem 'organic' with the band is when he leaves the damn MIDI keys in there big-time in the final arrangement, like this one. Even though recent songs such as Erase and Ecnalumba may have that sterility to them due to set arrangements, they still sound like a band. At least they have less of that blatant Collyer Brothers vibe to them.
Several comments have been made here and elsewhere about how this is thematically similar to "Older". I agree, but as much as I get a little kick out of "Older", I think this song explores the conceit more thoroughly.
"Older" was brilliant in its simplicity: time is, indeed, marching on as you listen to the song about time marching on. No need to elaborate any further in the lyrics, and the relatively simple arrangement (the Long Tall Weekend version, in particular) communicated that effectively.
For "Prepare", Linnell looked at the matter again and decided to go deeper. Sure, you can say "You're older than you've ever been" and it will be impossible to deny. But what lurks behind that basic declaration? Will things seem the same to you as you get older? New technologies and experiences are always coming around. With "Prepare", it's like we're suddenly looking at a Picasso-esque version of "Older", where we can see multiple perspectives on time--at the same time. Prepare for the next second...but geez, there's another second coming right after that, and yet another following...remember what it was like just a second ago?
- I think you make a good point about it being a more complicated song than Older, I kind of just prefer the melody and space of the former. I'm actually one of the few I think, who prefers the Mink Car version (it is on Mink Car isn't it? Lol) (Mr Tuck)
- I "prefer" the Mink Car version of "Older" only because I heard it long before the version from Long Tall Weekend (which itself wasn't even the original). But when I do my best to look at it objectively, I can see the LTW version might be slightly superior. But we're splitting hairs here, it's just a clever, enjoyable song either way. :-) --MisterMe (talk) 13:13, 16 October 2015 (EDT)
For me it'll always be the Factory Showroom version that's my favorite, it's the first one I heard... The MC version is fantastic too, though. Re: LTW version -- in my opinion, it's not as interesting when bass/guitar does the intro.