I’m not going to lie to you dear readers. I say that quite a bit on this blog, don’t I? Anyway, I am biased towards this record. I fought really hard with myself as to where to position this record in my top five for 2010. Ultimately I decided that the middle of the five records I picked to focus my year-end review on was the best place. Not because this is some middle of the road best of the best record. It’s just that I love Mike Law, singer, guitarists and main shaker and mover of New Idea Society. Seriously, the man is a kind-of-heart, beautiful, nice guy who I find endearing and he’s also a better musician the most of the other musicians out in the world and this album totally rocks my brain out of the damaged skull that has helplessly tried to hold all the madness in.
The true fact of the matter is, even though I’ve been wanting this album for a while and even though I am much endeared to the life and times of Mike Law, Somehow Disappearing is just a great album. There is no disputing this statement. I don’t say it lightly and I don’t say it just because I want it to be so, I say it because in all honestly I feel it is true. The music crafted here is Mike’s best and the band that went on this adventure are totally amazing.
New Idea Society has been a rather odd band. Their first proper album, You Are Awake or Asleep was a Beatlesesqupade of quirky pop rock, informed by Mike Law’s great song writing and then musical partner Steven Broadsky’s pop sensibilities. This was followed up by the raw The World Is Bright and Lonely which was filled with so many of Mike’s personalities, that despite the crisis of cohesion was a pretty excellent album with great and diverse song writing. But none of these albums can be held to Somehow Disappearing for this is the greatness that Mike Law has been only hinting at since his days in spazzcore band Eulcid, which was all things powerful and melodic and schizophrenic and pounding. But right here and now we have a totally fantastic collection of great music that is open and breathing and totally engaging.
Law moves your feet and your heart. His desire to get people’s bodies in motion is as tuned in as his want to convey sweeping emotional tides. If it’s a sock hop you want, put on “Sing It Right”. If you want warm, romantic waves, “Autumn You” will do you just right. If you want quirky, cute and infectious, “Summer Lions” is the song you’re looking for. All of this is created by the same band and it all sticks together so perfectly well. New Idea Society puts on big, dark sweeping sounds too. If you love the best of the Cure, you’ll love “Desolation Tongues” or “Disappearing”, which are tracks moved with resonating bass, soft, but playful drums, and fantastic piano work crafted by Chris DeAngelis. In truth, it is the pairing and obvious trust between Law and DeAngelis that truly brings New Idea Society it’s just due. Law’s guitar takes a backseat on much of this album for DeAngelis to take lead as the melodic driving instrument. The resonance of bass and treble from this instrument perfectly propel Law’s beautiful, lispy vocals into brand new heights, giving it the sonic space that his clangy chords often took away from in the past.
New Idea Society is a reinvented beauty on Somehow Disappearing. Law has left me breathless since day one that I encountered him. He continues to craft and create and consider carefully not only what he wants to say, but how he wants to say it. The teaming with DeAngelis has only exemplified and enhanced an already wonderful foundation and we can only hope that this is a musical collaboration that continues for many more albums and many more years to come. It is criminal in my opinion that this album is not getting more attention. I feel a twinge of guild even now for holding back. It’s the reason why I don’t like adding numerology to music at the end of the year. But Somehow Disappearing and New Idea Society have gotten a lot of words dedicated to them from me this year. I am not sad at all about dedicating more space to them, in hopes that maybe a few people will use their iTunes gift cards this holiday/capitalist season and show Mike Law and New Idea Society some love. You need this album in your life. The music contained within is moving, fascinating and beautiful. You’re ears and soul will thank you for it.