Calvin Johnson: A Wonderful Beast
The new Calvin Johnson album A Wonderful Beast [KLP269] is an experiment in sound. Using the theory "Rock'n'roll Will Never Die" as a starting point, Calvin entered the Audio Eagle Studio in Nashville, TN. Working closely with Producer Patrick Carney and Chief Engineer Marc Whitmore, the team tested the resiliency of such time honored materials as the electric guitar, modular synthesizer and trap drum kit, combining them in various ratios with elements like musical chords A, C and Dm. The results are a Frankenstein's monster of an album, A Wonderful Beast. Michelle Branch, who score many hits in the early double-0 decade as a solo artist and as a member of the Wreckers and lives next door to Audio Eagle, provides back-up harmony vocals on three songs. Following in the tradition of such Brill Building songwriting teams as Leiber-Stoller, Greenwich-Barry and Goffin-King, all the songs on A Wonderful Beast are a collaboration between Calvin Johnson and Patrick Carney. Carney, best known for his work as a member of the Akron, OH powerhouse The Black Keys, established Audio Eagle to further exactly this type of rock'n'roll workshoping, allowing the music and songwriting of NOW to rocket launched into the FUTURE.