I finally got a chance to listen to a few tunes off the Spilt Milk CD. I bought it a few weeks back but for various reasons never had the chance to listen to them (I was saving them for a high quality listen in the studio.) Pretty impressive the few tunes I had a chance to listen to. Definitely more produced than Bellybutton, but not in a bad way at all. Sometimes, after having become really familiar with a particular favorite work from a band for a long time, you can be kind of disinclined to give something new a fair chance, but I immediately liked the tunes I heard.
IMO the songwriting on Bellybutton is more consistent and better, whereas the production on Spilt Milk is by far more intricate and elaborate. For me, songwriting will always trump production, which is why I never skip any tracks from Bellybutton when they come up on my iPod, whereas there are several from Spilt Milk that I routinely skip over when they come up.
But this is all just splitting hairs, as both albums are bona fide masterpieces.
Hey Dean— I thought I and a couple of others, had talked you into buying Splilt Milk a couple of years ago in a thread over on AVS?
You did, but I just got around to it a while back. I think I've heard all the songs on it now and it's definitely quite interesting. I'm not sure I prefer it to Bellybutton, but it's definitely good stuff, well worth studying closely.
wouldn't have got through high school without them.
they had all the pieces in place and i do believe if they had continued on that a much wider audience would have discovered them. who knows. they're like my bloody valentine in the sense that would more success destroyed what we like about them , given the climate of the 1990's music industry?. the BS would have soured their collective milk. I heard Andy got burned out by the music machine and pretty much just walked away from the project.
They would have made a great double album put together!!!
If you can only have one I vote Bellybutton but both are remarkable as far as I'm concerned. I'd love to be a fly on the wall for those albums. The world needs new music as good as these guys were. Granted they borrowed heavily from their influences, I'd take that over what we have as an options today.
These records represent the synergy of great influences, great songwriting, with great musicians & arrangements, with great engineering in a great room with tons of great gear. Jules, it should be mandatory listening before you can join gearslutz.
Sidenote: Spilt Milk has one of the coolest album fold outs of all time. (A keyboardist wet dream.) You think JJP's Mix magazine cover is impressive....the live room equals that on the other side of the glass.
Additional sidenote: The last track of SM "Brighter Day" (yes, overly produced) sounds like it cost more than any song in the history of recording but so satisfying to listen to.
__________________ "To be a good engineer you NEED to HEAR to make sure you gettin whatcha want THE WAY ya want it." Ray Charles
Bellybutton is a classic, Spilt Milk was initially a disappointment, but I recently got into it and now appreciate it for what it is.
With that said, Bellybutton is much stronger from songwriting perspective in my opinion.
Maybe it is because it is one of the first CDs I ever bought so it got a ridiculous amount of spins, but I always felt the songwriting was better (for my taste) on Bellybutton. I can always listen to that album top to bottom, yet there are several skips for me on Spilt Milk. Sonically Bellybutton is so pristine. That is the first time I noticed Jack Joseph Puig. A very special record on many levels for me.
As someone who has had the pleasure of communicating with Andy recently, I must make an interesting observation:
Never before have I seen Gearslutz agree on the greatness of a band as much as I see here with Jellyfish. One of my all time favorites.
It's just a shame that most "average" listeners never really got them and they haven't been put in the category of one of the greatest bands of all time.
I wish I could say more. If you get a chance, search out every live performance by them on youtube. They were one of those rare bands where every one of them was a super talent in their own right and their performances were performances. Not just trying to keep up with the record.
It's a journey. Not a destination. Enjoy yours.
Spilt Milk is more sophisticated on every level but that's not always to every one's taste (but it is mine). I think It's a more cohesive album.
Having said this the the single biggest impact was on first hearing of Bellybutton opener "The Man I Used To Be". The first time you hear a band of this quality really sets you back on your seat. It's also one of their most moving songs.
Having said this I think Jellyfish were a little too derivative (Beach Boys, Beatles, Crowded House and er Queen [ugh]) and knowing to be one of the truly greats.
What f**king great sexy fat tom sounds tho... so chewable.
What is "overproduced" anyway?
Having just a vocal and a guitar is a production decision too and influences the listening experience just as much as deciding to record 20 tracks of vocals and an orchestra...
im sure im in the minority here, but i prefer spilt milk.
just an absolute high water mark on all levels...
as far as the songwriting goes, you should listen to the demos of spilt milk, they still stand up incredibly.
as far as the production goes, i put this right up there with SO by peter gabriel, and The Dissociatives record.