AW CMON and NO YOU CMON - as LAMBCHOP's enigmatic focus Kurt Wagner has named them - are separate albums. They are to be treated as separate entities, hence the fact that they are not being released as a double album. The two albums were birthed by the same creative process, however, hence their simultaneous release bound together. "The origins of this concept," explains Kurt, "are rooted in the idea of writing a song per day over extended periods of time that varied from weeks at a time to months in succession. This lasted from the summer of 2002 through the winter of 2003. My idea was to simply sit down and write one complete song each day. This sounded easier than it turned out to be, but the process allowed for the opportunity to make certain creative decisions quickly and decisively, thereby keeping things fresh and, for the most part, short. It was one of the most enjoyable creative periods of my life. For the first time I had the freedom of uninterrupted time to try this. Some days things happened very quickly, and some days they moved incredibly slowly. I found the best results formed themselves quickly, and rarely was I able to come back to ideas at a latter date and have any success in changing or refining them. By April 2003 I ended up with a butt load of material, of which a small percentage is represented on these two records." "During this song per day period," Kurt continues, "LAMBCHOP was approached by the San Francisco International Film Festival to come up with a live score to be performed during their 2003 festival. The film that they asked us to consider was F.W. Murnau's 1927 silent film Sunrise. It seemed like the perfect outlet for me to utilize some of this material that I had been working on. And so it began that I started selecting songs from the song per day period of time to be included in the score. It is from the Sunrise score that many of the songs found on both AW CMON and NO YOU CMON were selected. As things happened it became apparent that not all of the songs from the film would necessarily be able to stand on their own, and it is for that reason, among others, that I have also included other songs that weren't part of the film in these records. I conversely felt that some of the song per day songs weren't right for the film but were fine songs for these two records." The albums are not dramatically different in style from one another, but the conceptual call and response of the titles is somewhat reflected in the choice of songs across the two. AW CMON is perhaps a little darker, whilst NO YOU CMON is more obviously playful and upbeat. Both albums feature extraordinary string arrangements by Lloyd Barry which on occasions recall Robert Kirby's lush embellishments for Nick Drake's classic Bryter Later as much as the Philly sounds more familiar to long term LAMBCHOP fans. Their sweet nature is in contrast to LAMBCHOP's exquisite underplaying, offering a rich texture that belies their initial Disney-esque qualities. Meanwhile Kurt's complex wordplay and melodic twists, coupled with the band's endlessly inventive performances, retain the splendour that has lain at the heart of everything that the band has achieved since its conception. Links with previous work are undeniably evident, but the steps forward are vast. If Nixon was technicolour and soft focus, AW CMON and NO YOU CMON are pin sharp. If Is A Woman was sparse, AW CMON and NO YOU CMON use the delicate details that they found therein to effortlessly broaden the canvas even further. It's almost as if each step of the way is a reaction to the last, but that would be to simplify a creative process which remains mysterious even to Kurt himself.
City Slang (DE)
AW C'MON! & NO YOU C'MON! [2CD]
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