There’s a particular experience when you put on a record and just know that the songwriter / band appreciates what music does and should do. Kody Nielson is that type of musician.
With his latest release, Nielson proves once again that skilful music doesn’t always need to be cohesive or make sense in any way. Sounding at times like a homage to the music that plays during a blaxploitation stakeout scene, ‘Birthday Suite’ has a vintage cinematic quality to it that’s further enhanced by being completely instrumental.
Each song is written for and named after someone’s birthday, incredibly enough. Extraneously, the cover artwork is of a silver faced and costumed Nielson wearing a Bach wig and pirate shirt, playing the drums.
Just before the album as a whole runs the risk of suffering from terminal zaniness, the music presents moments of real greatness. It somehow mines a jaunty kind of Baroque classical vein by fracking with drums and an experimental electronic compound.
Not intended to please radio or even fans from his Silicon days, this is music that will most delight academic listeners who long to see classical music re-invented without a cheesy aftertaste.