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Bryter Layter Over-Produced
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Passerby



Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 1
Location: United States

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 3:07 am    Post subject: Bryter Layter Over-Produced Reply with quote

I keep reading and hearing how "Bryter Layer" is a "classic". Sorry, I dont see it that way. If anything, it is overproduced, and not at all Nick. The over-embellishment of string & horn arrangements took away from the center piece - which was Nick and his guitar. Does any one else cringe when they hear the backing vocals on "Poor Boy" thinking "It doesnt fit"? "Hazey Jane II" is simply not a good song no matter hard hard they tried to dress it up. "Chime of the City Clock" wouldve sounded much better without the obtrusive Sax. Boyd & Kirby took the liberty of polishing up Nick but lost sight of who he was. It makes one feel embarassed for him. Its almost like Kirby used Nicks album as a vehicle for his own arrangements. Why 3 Instrumentals? There are a few exceptions on this album. "Northern Sky" is a beautiful track. I wouldnt change a thing about that. I love the song. (Yes, I heard it pre-Serendipity film - which put it to good use.) "One of these Things First" and "Hazey Jane I" are also very nice the way they are. "Fly" is nice too, but still would be better without all the ornamentation. Anyway, Nick realized Bryter Layter was more about production value than his music, and this is why Nick decided his following album, Pink Moon, would be stripped of all production aside from the occasional overdubbed piano (Pink Moon). I would be interested in hearing Bryter Layter without any orchestration - or at least a bare minimum; No drums, no electric guitars or bass, no backing vocals, no horns or flutes - only strings where they would accentuate and compliment the music much like on "Five Leaves Left". In my playlist of Nicks albums I have "5 leaves left", the 4 tracks from "Bryter Layter" I mentioned, and the "Pink Moon" album. The other tracks from Bryter Layter seem disruptive to the flow, and I can do without them. This is simply my opinion, and probably my only post. So, Take it or Leave it.
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mike3



Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 8:47 am    Post subject: Re Reply with quote

Bryter Layter is very badly produced ,the result of this over production must have been a great disapointment for Nick
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Bogo



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 55
Location: Philadelphia

PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*Actually, after listening to it again and reading Robert Kirby's interview, I have respectfully changed my opinion. Ultimately it WAS the Poor Boy backing vocals that caused me to scratch my head, although intentional sarcasm/irony would definitely put me more at ease with it (strangely enough). It bothers me as well that Robert took it to heart that fans were displeased with it, especially since many of us were under the impression the difference in sound was against Nick's wishes. The opposite is true, it seems. And I STILL say its a five star record. Smile
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jomarkdave



Joined: 02 Jan 2007
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i agree. with hazey jane II i sorta just skip over it. it seems a bit unfit. some of the instruments definitely don't meld in the feel that we've heard on other albums.

and not so much the instruments...but what they're playing.
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drakesinfluence



Joined: 27 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad I'm not the only one who skips over Hazey Jane II. Yes, the backup singers on Poor Boy are terrible. But, you should hear the Tanworth-in-Arden version, It's amazing.

I think that they were attempting to put a pop spin on Nick and it didn't really work out.
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modestmatt14



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

drakesinfluence wrote:
I'm glad I'm not the only one who skips over Hazey Jane II. Yes, the backup singers on Poor Boy are terrible. But, you should hear the Tanworth-in-Arden version, It's amazing.

I think that they were attempting to put a pop spin on Nick and it didn't really work out.


am i the only one who like the back up singers in poor boy? to me those singers are kind of souly or baptist sounding which is one of hte kinds of music i adore. but hazey jane II definatly is weird to me. it just doesn't match up. i mean when you first hear it you expect oen thing and than he starts singing and it is totally different. i also don't like how he crams all the words into one bar in that song. i htink the problem with this album though is that it does age with time. five leaves left and pink moon will remain timeless till the day we die but when you listne to bryter layter you always say oh well this is classic music
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Richie



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 156
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not all that keen on the arrangements on Hazey Jane II and Poor Boy either (though I think the songs themselves are great).. also I would've preferred to hear Sunday and the title track as solo guitar pieces, minus the more twee aspects. As for the rest of Bryter Layter, I think they did a great job with the arrangements\production.. I wouldn't change a thing about One of These Things First, Northern Sky, Fly, Hazey Jane I, Chime of a City Clock (even the sax part is okay, when you're used to hearing it) and the Introduction with that string motif is beautiful.
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Black Cat



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
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Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting topic - I'm glad I'm not the only one who found this. I agree with Richie in that the songs themselves are fabulous but I feel sometimes the other instruments 'drown' Nick's guitar a bit. Maybe it's not the quantity of them in particular, but the overall volume compared to Nick's gentle playing. I also wonder what 'Bryter Layter' and 'Sunday' would have sounded like with just the guitar. I've tried homing in on it but I just can't seem to block the arrangements out...ha ha, you're right, it does sound rather twee - I get images of Nick as a little boy rather than a man...but maybe it was meant to be like that...

The back-up vocals in 'Poor Boy' also seem a little out of place to me - listening to Nick's music, I go into a certain mindset - almost like another world - and then the backing singers suddenly jerk me back into reality. I'm interested in their tone, though, because it almost sounds like they're mocking the 'poor boy'....was this intentional?

Regarding Hazey Jane II...
Quote:
i also don't like how he crams all the words into one bar in that song

I like the cramming! Wink
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ThemCityBlues



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bryter Layter is my least favorite album, mostly because Drake's guitar seems to have been somewhat ignored. I can understand why Drake wasn't so sure about how Bryter Layter turned out.

However, it has some brilliant songs. The orchestrations on Introduction are superb. At the Chime of the City Clock and One of These Things First have a very nice drive to them, very gentle but inspiring. I also like the instrumentals as well. I really wish Drake's guitar would've been recorded better in Fly. It sounds really flat to me, much better is the song found on bootlegs. Of course Northern Sky is brilliant.

I think Drake's vocals on Hazy Jane II are superb. He handles the high pitch descent perfectly. And one of my favorite lines he ever sang, "What would happen in the morning when the world it gets so crowded that you can't look out the window in the morning?".

I also think the sax in At the Chime of the City Clock is perfect and very important for that song. I think the jazzy elements were pulled off very well. It gives Drake a very gentle drive, really expanding on the moods he is able to convey.

I'm pretty sure Drake was very proud of the instrumentals.

Overall I think it's a great album, just would've liked to see Drake's guitar occupy more of the mix like in Five Leaves Left. Also the quality of Drakes capture isn't as good as FLL.
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Richie



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Black Cat wrote:

The back-up vocals in 'Poor Boy' also seem a little out of place to me - listening to Nick's music, I go into a certain mindset - almost like another world - and then the backing singers suddenly jerk me back into reality. I'm interested in their tone, though, because it almost sounds like they're mocking the 'poor boy'....was this intentional?


Yes, I think the 'mocking' aspect was very deliberate (though I believe those backing singers were Joe Boyd's idea, rather than Nick's.. I recall reading that he wanted to imitate a similiar effect on a specific Leonard Cohen song).. That whole song seems to be Nick taking a light-hearted jab at his own worldweary image, or the generalised image of the young man heavy with the cares of the world.
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Folky



Joined: 16 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't agree about the Bryter Layter overproduction argument, maybe it is overproduced when compared to Pink Moon, but maybe it is Pink Moon that is underproduced.
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modestmatt14



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well pink moon is obviously under produced but i say a good mix for nick drake was found on five leaves left. nick's gutiar was the main center piece of a song and the strings were the backup to him. in bryter layter it seemed that nick was drowned out for everyoen else to take over
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seamusz



Joined: 01 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I disagree with the notion that Pink Moon is underproduced. I think that the meloncollie tone of the music enhance the lyrics and feel of the album. The beauty of Pink Moon is that I feel like I am a one person audience, or like I am overhearing a simple rehersal... Bryter Layter seems to me to be very forced. I agree with what was said before that Three Leaves Left is a good mix and well produced.

Anyway, theres my two bits
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Folky



Joined: 16 Oct 2006
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Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bryter Layter was a more varied album than the other two and it took nine months to record after Nick was not happy with the original arrangements and brought in Robert Kirby. I can see why he may have preferred a simpler and far quicker recording process for Pink Moon. But I think the arrangements add to nearly all the songs on Bryter Layter, especially Northern Sky, Hazey Jane I and One Of These Things First. Even the flute on Bryter Layter and Sunday adds more than just having a guitar. The only arrangement I'm not that keen on is Hazey Jane II, but there are songs on the other two albums that I feel that way about as well.
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modestmatt14



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

seamusz wrote:
I disagree with the notion that Pink Moon is underproduced. I think that the meloncollie tone of the music enhance the lyrics and feel of the album. The beauty of Pink Moon is that I feel like I am a one person audience, or like I am overhearing a simple rehersal... Bryter Layter seems to me to be very forced. I agree with what was said before that Three Leaves Left is a good mix and well produced.

Anyway, theres my two bits


i agree that pink moon isn't underproduced but at the same time it is. i don't know how to explain it. like with jsut guitar alone nick drake could send a wall of noise to you and that was all you needed but some songs just sound kind of raw to me which i like but htat is why i calle dit udner produced
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