It’s all shite

Phase four came and went over a weekend. We were both still a bit tired on our return to the studio but we managed some new mixes and the odd reworking of tracks. It’s always a bit of a dilemma when you are mixing…dipping back into tracking [recording] can be a bit of a problem, especially to producers. Rob hates all that fleeting from task to task. Still we do what we do. I have some issues about a vocal, we agree to disagree, sometimes I redo, sometimes we move on. I never seem happy with what I’ve done. I guess it’s just the nature of it all. The microscopic up close and personal thing, in truth I probably imagine I sound better than I ever could. Nothing ever measures up. And then…after some considerable time I might see things more objectively…right now I’m just happy to have got this far. Really anyone would think I’d never done this kind of thing before…

We celebrate the end of the session with a couple of bottles of red wine talking to the frogs amidst a major rain storm at 3am. It all felt really good, like we’d reached a natural ending and for a while I stopped worrying about everything and got very pleasantly drunk. I also smoked a couple of roll ups but I don’t intend to make a habit of it.

I have since been listening to the new album mixes most recently in the car as I drive to my NHS job [where I was too tired to perform, hadn’t done my homework and was embarrassingly apologetic throughout a team away day]. I’d loaded the songs onto my ipod as a kind of reality test thing and whilst I am pleased with much of it there are still moments of uncertainty in sound and performance as songs that took on a new life in the studio get compared to their previous demo incarnations. One song in particular is bugging the hell out of me. It’s the title track ‘Sometimes I Feel Like a King’ and it just isn’t good enough for all kinds of reasons, changes in vocal style, last minute pianos, drums too quiet, it sort of stopped swinging despite our attempts to retrieve it. Last night I called Rob, told him it was all shite; by the end of the conversation I felt totally cabbaged. I guess I am at the ‘it’s all shite’ stage [studio owner Julie reminded me it would happen as it always does] and she is right, it has, so there you go. This being a given I have now [and about time too] realized that I am too close to it all to be objective so I must try and bear that in mind when I listen. What I know I should do is listen to something else for a couple of weeks and come back to it when I’m fresh and more relaxed but it’s easier said than done. Think I’m feeling more stressed about this album than others because, well, I think truly these songs are a leap ahead of those past and I really want it to be as good as it can be. Like I said to a mate the other day, like my very own Blood on the Tracks, sort of.

In the meantime Rob reminds me that one should listen with a punterly like detachment, keep the volume down and paint the house or clean the bathroom at the same time. If you can hum along to the odd tune so much the better. He rightly points out that people won’t be listening to the annoying bass note that’s slightly out of time. I tell him I know this already and that it’s the vocal that worries me. We agree to speak in a week’s time once I’ve sorted out track order for mastering but in truth I feel this is along way off just now and like I said before,… it’s all shite.
I suppose I’m going to have take a few steps back here and allow some time to pass before revisiting the damn thing. Happy days…VP x
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