Friday, May 8, 2015

Game Theory
Real Nighttime
Omnivore Recordings

 If anyone is curious as to why I haven’t blogged lately, I’m here, but taking a rest from reviews. This blog still works, but there won’t be as many reviews in the future.

I know I didn’t review the previous Game Theory album, Dead Center. That was because I don’t live near a good record store where I could have gotten the reissued EPs Distortion and Pointed Accounts of People You Know. So I’ll sprinkle in some thoughts on the Dead Center comp, which encompasses those two EPs.

Dead Center was a transitional album for Game Theory. The parts were in place for a great leap forward, much the way the two EPs were a step forward from Blaze of Glory. Real Nighttime was that leap forward.

I love Mitch Easter’s exquisite production on this album. The band shines, and special mention must be made of Nan Becker’s wonderful keyboards and Scott Miller’s underrated guitar playing. The bonus tracks are a revelation. I never got to see Game Theory live, so they’re a treat.  The booklet is also revealing, informative and celebratory, particularly the remarks by Carl Newman.

I love all the songs, but I’m not going to single out any of them.  Instead, I’ll say that Scott had an interesting and wonderful idea: to put James Joyce-style language into a pop song.  I read a little of Ulysses to try to understand.  Leave it to Scott to make something like that work.  Read how in the reprinted insert in the booklet for the album.

I didn’t get to hear Real Nighttime in full until after Game Theory had changed into the Loud Family. I’d heard some of the tracks on GT’s best known songs comp Tinker to Evers To Chance, and then managed to find a copy on cassette. I wore out that cassette and the Alias reissue in the 1990s, so I’m very glad to have this album. Omnivore has perfected the reissues of the GT catalog.  Very well done all around.  If you’ve never heard Scott Miller, start with RN, and work backwards. Then get ready for the rest of the reissues to follow later this year.

Andrea Weiss


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