Good Service is Serenading Us
It’s not always easy to tell what Good Service is serenading us with in some of the songs on his new album Please, such as in tracks like the delicate “Washington Avenue” and crisp lead singles “MaPaw” and “Summer Muses,” but in all actuality, the words this experimentalist sings aren’t the main communicator in his compositions. That role firmly belongs to the instrumental grind of the music, which constantly tells us what Good Service is feeling, even when his verses are obstructed by a wall of sonic might, i.e. “Sys’ro” and “The End.”
Beneath the discordant packaging, there are some really immaculate melodies to behold in Please, starting with those in softer songs like “The End” and “94.” Though not as provocative nor as boastful of its musicality as “Ira, Lila” is, “94” is an album-defining track that speaks volumes about what sort of artist Good Service wants to be. This is the first time that we’re getting to meet him, and though there are a couple of cosmetic hiccups here and there, Please is mostly a really well-rounded, emotionally-charged collection of songs that doesn’t try to be bigger or more anthemic than it is on paper.
You don’t have to be an expert on studio recording to tell that a lot of time and effort went into making this master mix the beast that it is in “And a Foot,” “Pocket Calendars” and “Sys’ro,” but for those of us who live for brainy audio splendor more than most do, this is about as good as a debut LP can get. We feel all of the physicality that the textures in “Sys’ro” have to share as though we were present in a concert hall, witnessing Good Service dish out crushing melodies only feet away from where we stand. This is something that some experimental musicians spend a lifetime trying to perfect, and he’s already got it down excellently in this album.
As harsh as some of this material can be, I feel like Please could have been even more extreme and it would have yielded just as much emotion out of tracks like “Washington Avenue,” “MaPaw,” “Summer Muses” and “Ira, Lila.” I would really be interested in seeing Good Service on stage at some point in the near future, if for no other reason than to see how well the presence that he has in this LP would translate in a live performance. If he’s even half as confident as he is in these songs, he’s going to see a lot of success on-tour in the years to come.
I wasn’t at all familiar with Good Service before being told to take a peek at Please this last month, but I am really excited to hear what he’s going to come up with next. This record provides a good blueprint of what he can do when the creative energy is clicking in all the right ways, and with a little more time and personal development, I think that his sophomore release could be the left-field watershed that listeners have been waiting to see for a long time now.
by Bethany Page
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