Big Milk Album Review

I wrote this (as Rose Ladanyi) in 2001 for the Big Milk section of my website and was later asked by Luciano Lenchantin if an excerpt could be used for the band’s cdbaby description.

At first listen, it is smooth, soothing even. By the second listen, the strength of the album relies on how you listen to it.

Harlem sprinkles fairy dust in your ears while a lazy beat pulls you into its web. This is Big Milk. With a strong intro track, the stage is set. You’re trippy on Big Milk now and there’s no turning back. Its intimate strings telling you secrets, and its beats seducing you. The vocals manipulate your emotions, but this manipulation feels so good. Fresh and clear throughout, musicians don’t seem to be battling for a position within your ears. Each instrument has its time, moments of glory. Though for the most part they are wrapped up in delivering pure music without egos. There’s a tight balance between heavy and light, the musicians dare to push surprise fluctuations and tensions into an otherwise mellow album. Guess what, it works!
Each song could evoke tears for its sheer beauty. You may try listening to the technical aspects but soon realize you’ve gotten lost in this thing beyond your control. Center Room’s sly progression and build-up begins to erupt but stays itself, then goes into an instrumental plane followed by the inevitable sonic eruption. Medicine, possibly the clearest title on the cd, coats your inner ears with syrupy smoothness. As the only true instrumental on the album, Scuffy gets you dreaming all kinds of crazy things. Watercolor. Black and white. Holographic. This song cries to the depths of your mind. Lift Ticket’s soft wisp voice distortions and gentle singing smother the deep thumping of Steve’s bass and Lorren’s drums.
The less you know about the lyrics, the better. As you listen and try to distinguish words, it becomes clear that you’re listening to the vocabulary of Luciano’s voice more than the subject of the song. For Big Milk’s live show, lyrics aren’t always concrete. One might say mood music. From the heart music is more accurate, that is if you really need to have a solid genre. Masters of both live and album settings, Big Milk maintains an energy throughout the album by not letting you know what words are being sung which lets you focus on getting into the entire experience.
The band came together from jam sessions, a mutual love for Miles Davis and perhaps as a great big cosmic joke on a cranky neighbor (Bill, who makes a brief appearance between tracks). Somewhere between the psychedelic riffs and dream inducing vocals is a band that’s actually good. If only for the pure creativity and spontaneous sounds, Big Milk deserves a place on every shelf. Not because it sounds like something else but because of what it is and what it is becoming. Musicians who play from the heart first. Sounds that you’ve just got to explore on every level. Images, feelings, words, stories packed onto a shiny disc, capturing an emotion. An emotion that is so specific it can be viewed in as many ways as there are stars in the sky. Vague and ambiguous. A soundtrack for dreams.

1. Harlem
2. Pomona
3. Gear Dress
4. Lift Ticket
5. Dealy Deal
6. Center Room
7. Medicine
8. Scuffy
9. Dead Bunny
10. Dream Sponser
11. Eleventeen
12. Uptight

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