Having enjoyed "Bellybutton" so much, this release was eagerly anticipated, and did not disappoint in the least. Sort of a 90's update of "Sergeant Pepper," the band covers a lot of musical ground in a dream concept. Beginning with the gentle, Queen-like a-capella "Hush" to the overblown, hallucinogenic carnival sounds of "Brighter Day," from the feedback roar of "All Is Forgiven" flowing into the peaceful acoustic "Russian Hill," I never fail to be impressed by the craft of the whole effort. The instrumentation runs a bizarre gamut of guitars, harpsichord, organs, banjo, brass...the vocal harmonies echoing Queen (of course), the Beach Boys, the Beatles and the Association. Hard songs, mellow songs, even a polka thrown in for good measure. This is one of those disks that I can listen to for days on end without tiring. Irresistably cheerful and upbeat and always amazing. Perhaps best of all, the disc ends...
I am not that easily persuaded into giving albums 5 star ratings. Which means that I consider the second and final album from Jellyfish to be of importance to the music world at large. It didn't even break the top 100 when it was released in 1993, but when you listen to the leap from their dazzling power-pop "Bellybutton" debut and the conceptual undertaking of this, you will begin to wish Jellyfish had held together long enough to expand on this brilliant album.
At the radio paper I was editing in 1993, I listed "Spilt Milk" as one of the 10 best albums of the year. They mixed all the best elements of the seventies (you'll hear Queen, ELO, Supertramp, Raspberries) with the zippy pop of the sixties (Beatles, Beach Boys, Badfinger) to stunning effect. The overall sound of "Spilt Milk," however, is pure Jellyfish. Some 15 years...
Okay, how many cds do you own that you can say this about: I remember the very first time i heard this cd about 4 years ago. I remember sitting on my bed after i pressed play, and this huge grin just spreading across my face. I was in love at first listen! These guys are amazing! The perfect production, strong vocals, and varied music styles from the classical strings on "Hush" to the guitar rock on "Joining a Fan Club" to the polka style of "Bye Bye Bye", achieve masterpiece status. The lyrics tell some interesting stories as well. I love that 70's groove they invoke on "New Mistake." Complete with sound effects and atmospheric arrangements, they've thought of everything to round out this album to its keeper status. The fact that the band broke up is a shame, and i have only heard Jason Falkner's solo efforts, both of which are good but do not touch this greatness. I will admit, Jellyfish had given themselves a sort of silly image...
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