Thursday, September 12, 2013

Nilsson: Aerial Ballet

Nilsson (No, It's Not Elliott Smith)

I haven't done much of anything with this blog recently.  It's not that I have stopped listening to music (that never happens), and it's not like I haven't heard anything that has inspired me to write (that isn't the case), it's just finding the time to sit, gather my thoughts, and try to articulate why I like what I like can be difficult.  I'm not a writer, so it makes it all the more difficult for me. 

What I do know is that I've been on a 60's/70's pop kick recently, running through the catalog of post-Pet Sounds era Beach Boys albums (Sunflower, Surf's Up, and Friends are all enjoyable albums while nightly getting my mind blown by Smile and the outtakes), delving back into Syd Barrett/early Pink Floyd era, repeatedly listening to the first three Love albums (Love, Da Capo, and of course, Forever Changes)--essentially I'm going back to my college music interests...

While I've heard plenty of Nilsson songs, and even once had a solid compilation of his work called Personal Best, I recently picked up the Pandemonium Shadow Show/Aerial Ballet albums on cd, essentially the first two solo Nilsson albums compiled on cd.  While I like Pandemonium Shadow Show, and can understand John Lennon's obsession with the album, Aerial Ballet is the album of Nilsson's that really gets me.  From the brilliant pop of "Good Old Desk", to minimalist organ (keyboard?) track "One", to the gospel-tinged "Bath", to the Fred Neil, country-ish cover of "Everybody's Talkin'", it's all pretty brilliant in my eyes.  This song particularly gets me...
..."I Said Goodbye to Me" is probably one of the best break-up, moving-on-with-my-life songs I have heard.  Maybe because I wasn't familiar with this track, and was already familiar with a majority of Aerial Ballet from compilations, I don't know.  It doesn't resonate with my current life, but everyone has had a break-up in which they felt afterwards, everything in their life is entirely changing, and they have moved on.

And Aerial Ballet ends with "Bath", a nice closure to an album with it's gospel-like opening piano chords...


  1. Heh, hey it does look like a blond Elliott Smith. I like "I Said Goodbye To Me." Nilsson was a talent I think unappreciated mostly. You should see the documentary out about him if you haven't already.

  2. Yeah, I agree that he's unappreciated. Very underrated, wrote some amazing songs.. The scat singing can get annoying occasionally, but overall he's pretty amazing. That Nilsson documentary is high up on my Netflix list, so I should be seeing it pretty soon!