Fluid Authority Transistor by Scott Garriott is essentially a double album's worth of lo-fi music that revolves around guitar and vocals. It’s hard to treat this as an album because of the length. I try to listen to an album continuously from front to back with no distractions. By the time I got to the eleventh track I was starting to fidget but the fifteenth I needed a break. My point is that this album may be best digested in separate sittings. You don’t want to overload.
Most of these songs fit into the folk category. Take for instance “Gaseous Planet,” “What Should I Make” and “Red Soldiers” amongst others. Garriott doesn’t mind getting slightly experimental as well. Is that a toilet flushing I’m hearing on “Plastic Horserace” which goes off into interesting experimental territory which i thought there should be more of.
One of my favorite tracks was “Swamp Conductors” which was sparse. I thought his subdued melancholy singing worked well. Another out of nowhere odd deviation is “Modern Cowboy's Last Dream.” Cool song.
The album as a whole has things that work and things that could have been improved. I thought the jump between the experimental tracks and the more traditional folk was too much of a jump. I actually really enjoyed both styles but the juxtaposition for a cohesive album felt off and too disparate.
The production was usually on the lo side of lo-fi. In some cases it worked like on “Swamp Conductors” where the song was so sparse without too many dynamic aspects. They get into trouble when they add percussive elements and the quality starts to buckle. This is a good start but think a little boost in production value will help on their next effort.
Overall, the album is still enjoyable and I saw a good amount of talent coming from Garriott.
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