November 13, 2003

Test Spin: Williamson

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Sometimes life gets you down. School, relationships, the weather, and lots of other things can make being a student at Cornell a real drag. When you’re feeling blue, call up a bunch of friends, get a few drinks, and just relax — with Williamson’s A Few Things to Hear Before We All Blow Up in your CD player.

This album expresses a sublime optimism without the hindrance that words can sometimes provide. Completely instrumental, Wade Williamson’s debut is an emotional and startlingly refreshing approach to experimental electronic music. But if you think ambient music is too cold and digital, don’t fret. Williamson incorporates soft guitar sounds into his compositions to provide an organic feel to the record. Glancing at the tracklisting, one can’t help but ponder a little about the stark contrast between the brightness of the music and the cynicism of the song titles (e.g. “Time You’ll Never Get Back” and “What’s On the Ceiling Beats What’s on TV”). Perhaps Williamson wants to make a statement about the status of the world today. Or maybe he’s just a big fan of irony.

When I first listened to this record, I was chillin’ with my friends. The music provided a great background for a good conversation after a tiresome week. So this is my new “chillin’ with my homies” CD. It can be something different for you, though. Check it out for yourself.

Archived article by Ratheet Pandya