Monday, March 16, 2009

Albums That You Should Own, But Perhaps Don't (And In That Case, You Soon Will): Wheat - Hope And Adams

Wheat - Hope And Adams

It's time to sing the praises of Wheat's 1999 album, Hope And Adams, since last week it was re-released as part of a 3-disc set (which also includes their first album, Medeiros, and a compilation of rarities called 30 Minute Theatrik.)

I bought Hope And Adams back in 2001, probably at Grimey's (back then it would have been in the cramped Bransford Ave. location around 100 Oaks Mall) and if I remember correctly, I purchased it solely based on its packaging. The three-fold digipack, printed on paper with a homemade recycled feel to it, really appealed to me. As a nice little bonus, the music inside also fit my aesthetic quite nicely.

For one, the Dave Fridmann production on Hope And Adams is stellar. The spare drumming and drone-y background sounds (hums, buzzes, various feedback) help cut into the sweet melodies, so it comes off more like an indie-pop album rather than sounding like a Marcy Playground outing (did I really just make a Marcy Playground reference?! I'm as shocked as you are that I even remember them...)

There's not a bad song in the bunch: "This Wheat", the instrumental track that opens the album channels a relaxed Mogwai (whose Come On Die Young album had just been produced by Fridmann); "Raised Ranch Revolution" and "Body Talk (Part 1)" could have been hits had they been released a few years earlier; "Body Talk (Part 2)" pays tribute to Paul Simon's "Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard" by lifting and slowing down the titular melody; "Don't I Hold You" was featured prominently in Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown; and finally, "More Than You'll Ever Know" does avant-garde, buzzed-out noise pop better than a stack of Pitchfork-approved Animal Collective albums.

All in all, Hope And Adams is a rewarding listening experience that I've revisited time and time again.




  1. YOU RECOMMENDED WHEAT? I haven't read the blogs in a few days. I love Wheat! And nobody else has ever heard of them. I'm pleased.



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