Thursday, March 13, 2014

American Beauty - Grateful Dead

This is possibly the best known album by The Grateful Dead. You know I got this thing on vinyl from my moms cousins husband. And honestly, I didn't care first time through. Now I'm older and more mature and have been craving the following artists/genres The Dead, 20th Century Classical, Free Jazz, Jazz, Bowie and a little hip hop/pop to add flavor so it doesn't get dull. I'm 100% serious when I say that so I may be going insane or I may just give this thing another shot. After all, it is a classic.
  1. Box of Rain: This opens up this album, and you know it isn't that bad. The thing that turned me off was the harmony vocals before, but you know this is a pretty decent track. The more I hear this song the more I think that I enjoy it. Maybe it also has something to do with Eugene, but that's also a little irrelevant. It's a pretty song and it's relaxing.
  2. Friend of the Devil: This is a pretty fun song. I always kind of liked the bass line in it. This is a fun song that I may want to write a song like. I mean this 
  3. Sugar Magnolia: Now this song is a song that kind of gets on my nerves. I mean, it's not terrible, but there is a type of magic that is keeping me from hating this thing. Usually I can't stand bluegrass or country unless it's done a certain way or with a little flavor. This album is able to keep my interest and make me wanna review this. I think the drums on this a pretty cool sounding. Its also very happy and kind of "brainwashes" you into wanting to have fun too.
  4. Operator: This song reminds me a little of Big Yellow Joint or the real version Alice's Restaurant. This is a fun song that I think may also grow on me with time. This is a pretty fun time and a jolly way to sit back drink a beer. Thought I don't drink, nor will I ever, this is something I imagine would go great with it.
  5. Candyman: This is pretty much on the same boat as Operator with the whole beer things. This song is just relaxing, but I like the guitar fills in there. This album has a central focus. I think that this shows great maturation on the part of the band, why? Well they were willing to go from that psych sound on their debut to this folk/country feeling on Working Man's Dead and further expand it more with this album. I'm actually surprised that those 6 minutes were actually pretty fun.
  6. Ripple: This is a very country sounding song. I mean even as the album progresses I am opening up to the songs more. This is pretty and relaxing I just want to kick back and write a bunch of these songs after hearing this song. 
  7. Brokedown Place: There isn't really anything that crazy complex going on, other than these guys are really into the song. They are able to make boring songs have heart and honesty. The vocals here are pretty great, and they make me wanna listen to this thing again after listen to it once. This proves that simplicity isn't always a bad thing. I also like the honky tonk piano fill thing. It's pretty great.
  8. Till The Morning Comes: Now this is a song that I think, after the last track doesn't really stand up. This album uses a lot of very similar sounding songs and they probably reuse a few chord progressions, but the songs are still pretty great. This song has a cool thing that reminds me a little of I Can't Explain's main riff. I also like the chiming sounds and what not at the end.
  9. Attics of My Life: This is a more relaxed song. This actually reminds me of The Beach Boys. One of their songs that would be sunshine pop. A good example too would be Good Day Sunshine by The Beatles off 1966's Revolver. Now I always found an irony in the genre because it's always felt kind of dark even though it has "sunshine" in the title.  Just an underlining darkness in there. Though this doesn't necessarily do it for me, that may change over time.
  10. Truckin: This closes this LP, and a pretty great ending too. Just keep on Trucking and keep calm. This whole album is relaxing and I think that this kind of wraps up the whole feeling of sit back and kick you shoes off to a T. It's also probably the song that has the more things going on. This is also just a great way to end the review and album
Overall I have to give this bluegrass/rock n roll classic a 7/10. The title fits, country is from America and if you think about it then you can know why it fits. Thought I may not think this is my favorite album by the group, this is still a pretty solid album. Now I may not always see the genius or the classicness of this, but one year has done maturation and let me enjoy this a little more, maybe in a year from now I'll like it even more. I am positive though, that I WILL be returning to this album if I plan on doing a country influenced album, song, ep whatever. I don't want to say this is genius or even a classic, but it's pretty great and a great place for inspiration.


  1. Every song a classic but Attics of My Life; that could have been deleted. It's a full four stars. The late Bob from HFS in DC called "Ripple" his favorite song.

    1. Thank for the response, do you have a favorite dead album?