I Don't Know How to Play Piano But I Have Long Hai[CD]
The holiday continues, but with a certain amount of irony, since an extended stay in a university residence hall is anything but a holiday. I Don't Know How To Play Piano But I Have Long Hair, the second album from Jeff's Holiday, was written, recorded and produced by Jeff between November 2006 to March 2007. The title alludes to Jeff's non-technical playing style, and to his once-bulky 'do. On one hand, there is the sound of a piano singer/songwriter, and on the other hand is an indie electronica composer who favors hypnotic, interweaving songs. Jeff acknowledges that technology has the power to make everything perfect - perfect beats, instrumentals, or vocals - but humans are not perfect. Whereas much electronica is lifeless and mundane, Jeff strived for imperfection so that it might add a touch of humanity to the songs. Resisting the human tendency for order is not an easy accomplishment. There is a constant give and take, where Jeff naturally falls into patterns that he then forcibly breaks. After all, no progress can be made if we never step beyond the realm of comfort. Jeff includes only minimal percussion in the form of synth beats, and emphasizes his strong points - decorative piano jumbled together with keyboard and faraway vocals (plus ukelele, children's piano and even some guitar). Although, piano is the seed at the core of most songs, which sometimes remain a modest plant, and other times grow into a wild, green, flowery mess. Not one track is delivered unwrapped on a platter. Each is layered and complex, but shows it's rewards with every successive listen. The opening track features only a lonely, sparingly played piano, before the album takes off on a journey of Jeff's mind. Then after nearly an hour comes "Hit My Head," the opus that closes with Jeff holding a conversation with the listener over a transcendental beat. Piano is the soundtrack for all the moments you find yourself alone, and wondering what comes next - in the day, in your life, in the story of mankind. But then you smile and treasure it, because you know that bit of solitude will soon be interrupted by all the buzzing madness. Those who like songs that curve and wind, and electronica that breathes with life, will cherish Piano. All this, and Jeff is barely 19 years old.
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