Ulysses 010

[Eenie Meenie; 2004]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: pop rock
Others: early Pavement, early Matador

On first listening, its easy to shrug off 010 as an under produced mess of an album from one of the more notable names in contemporary rock (at least when you name check him in the context of his co-founding role with Elephant 6), Robert Schneider. Recorded in Schneider's basement with Big Fresh members, John Ferguson and Ben Fulton, along with Robert Beatty of Hair Police, many of the tracks were completed on the first take in something like four hours altogether. While this approach has taken away from many an album, burying songs under noise and novice, when used appropriately, it can highlight and accentuate emotions and moments which cannot better be expressed with added production. Such is the case with 010.

Ulysses have come up with ten heartfelt songs that clock in at just over 30 minutes. The rough production provides the music a live quality and you can often hear members commenting on the songs between tracks. Ulysses used nothing spectacular when making the album, simply, vocals, electric guitar, bass, drums, and some added keyboard for atmosphere. Schneider's singing is emotive and distinct while somewhat off key and quirky at times. The instrumentation and backing vocals are straightforward and predictable, as all good pop music should be. No fuss, no muss. 010 is simply a pop album that will find you at your most unsuspecting. It will stick in your head and you will be thankful that this is the music you have with you for the rest of your day.

1. Push You Away
2. Television
3. Glacier
4. The Falcon
5. Change
6. Burning You
7. Frustrated
8. Castles in Spain
9. Evening Star
10. Her Silver Veil