my ultimate Inland Territory album playlist

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dbeattie
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my ultimate Inland Territory album playlist

Postby dbeattie » Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:58 pm

So a few years ago, I posted alternate album playlists for Vienna's first two albums. See them here: Waking Hour and Warm Strangers.

I totally believe that a good playlist improves an album's accessibility immensely. For example, when I first listened to Sarah Bareilles's album "Little Voice", I didn't like most of the songs on it. But after listening to it a few times, I figured out a completely different order to listen to the tracks in, which made every song nice to listen to. My reaction to Vienna's Inland Territory album was much more initially positive, but yet, I still thought it could use some re-ordering. ;) So for about the last month, I've been going through a trial-and-error process trying to figure out my perfect playlist for Inland Territory. (Yours may be different.) I may edit this as time goes by, but here's what I have so far:

1. The Last Snowfall
2. White Light
9. No Gringo
5. In Another Life
3. Antebellum
6. Grandmother Song
10. Watershed
4. Kansas
7. Stray Italian Greyhound
8. Augustine
11. Radio
12. St. Stephen's Cross

I did experiment with starting the album with Kansas (as in her european EPK), but ultimately found this to be less satisfactory than leaving The Last Snowfall in its place as the opener. St. Stephen's Cross is so transcendent, it almost has to be the last song, so it also stayed in place. For the rest of the album, I paid attention to such factors as the transitions between the closing chord of a song and the opening chord of the next and their places in the circle of 5ths, the style and instrumentation of each song, and the emotional place that each song leaves you in and whether you're ready for the beginning of the next:
  • Augustine is the real wildcard. I'm honestly not sure what the best place to put it is, so I may yet move it, and if so, a lot of other things sometimes have to move in order to compensate. I've tried it almost everywhere, and not yet been able to soothe that opening drum beat and get a nice chord transition into it at the same time. So for the moment I'm deferring to Vienna's placement right after Stray Italian Greyhound. We'll see.
  • Putting Stray Italian Greyhound in the right spot also proved to be remarkably difficult. It can work fairly well right after Augustine or another high-strung song, but I rather like it following Kansas, where the subdued ending gives way to an anticipatory, hopeful piano intro with omitted bass notes, crescendoing gradually to a satisfying bass punch as the chorus delivers us gleeful excitement, then a lilting, joyful second verse, etc.
  • Grandmother Song, Watershed, and Kansas are all in the key of D (although Grandmother Song and Watershed both end on A chords and Kansas starts on a B minor), and I think that bracketing Watershed with its spacey beginning and soaring ending with other songs in the same key works out almost perfectly.
  • The key signature progression of first 5 songs I've listed is rather nice in my arrangement. D (The Last Snowfall), G minor (White Light), C minor (No Gringo), F minor (In Another Life), E major (Antebellum). The first four roughly following the circle of 5ths and then just dropping a half step to Antebellum. At the same time, I've led from processed, electric sounds (The Last Snowfall and White Light) towards orchestral (Antebellum) gradually, so the stylistic shift is not shocking at any point. :)
  • Lastly, the transition from Radio to St. Stephen's Cross was just too good to be messed with. They're both in the key of A, and Radio is a hard-driving song, ending on an abrupt D chord, so the sudden airy opening of St. Stephen's Cross makes for a perfect resolution to the angst that Radio leaves us with, which then goes on to last 5 minutes and go through its own emotions.
Hope you all enjoy this little piece of music geekery... and even if none of the above is comprehensible, try my album playlist and see what you think!

--David

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Re: my ultimate Inland Territory album playlist

Postby dbeattie » Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:23 pm

My alternative placement right now for Augustine is right after No Gringo. This sort of works because No Gringo ends in a percussion solo, leading fairly well to the opening driving drums of Augustine. But Augustine doesn't flow into In Another Life, so then I have to move Stray Italian Greyhound after it, to fix the chord progression and style progression. It sacrifices the Kansas->Stray Italian Greyhound transition, but oh well. So here's my other playlist. I don't know yet which one is better:

1. The Last Snowfall
2. White Light
9. No Gringo
8. Augustine
7. Stray Italian Greyhound
5. In Another Life
3. Antebellum
6. Grandmother Song
10. Watershed
4. Kansas
11. Radio
12. St. Stephen's Cross

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Postby roofboy179 » Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:39 pm

... thank you. Im feeding off your information (Keys, chords, all that good stuff) to practice learning by ear... If you can call it that. I have a big advantage now ;] Thanks.

And i'll try setting that playlist up on my iTunes.. if i can figure out how.

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Postby Reileen » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:18 am

Ooh, I think I'm going to try this playlist out sometime. Personally, I really like the progression of Antebellum --> Kansas, both musically and in terms of the lyrical themes.

Out of curiosity, what's your personal playlist for "Little Voice"? I've listened to the album a few times, but I didn't really like it so much...it's not that I don't think Bareilles has talent, it's just more like the songs didn't really catch me.
"You've made us swear our souls to you
And blamed us for your poisoned grace."


Reileen van Kaile
http://www.voxgraphicastudio.com

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Postby Michele » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:49 am

Anyone else try it in the original order yet?
Last edited by Michele on Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby dbeattie » Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:01 am

Oh yes, as Michele points out, I do hope people listen to Inland Territory in the original order first (probably a bunch of times) before mucking around with things! I'm not meaning to preempt Vienna and Alex's work in any way. :) I just got so excited that, now that the album is out, I could share my thoughts about alternatives. (Although perhaps I should have waited a little longer. ;) ) And I also thought that if anybody has trouble getting into one of the songs (as I did initially, but not anymore!), that my playlists may (or may not) make a difference.

Reileen, I'll dig up my playlist for Bareilles's "Little Voice" and post it for you later this week. I never wrote it down, so I'll have to reconstruct from memory, I think, but that shouldn't be too hard--I expect I'll remember the sound of it when I listen to the album. :)

Digital
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Postby Digital » Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:04 am

I think Michelle meant the original order on the early pre-pre-release copy that Eric Cheng showed in his post. To save people some time:

1. Stray Italian Greyhound
2. Augustine
3. Kansas
4. Antebellum
5. House (!)
6. No Gringo
7. White Light
8. Watershed
9. Radio
10. St. Stephen's Green
11. In Another Life
12. Olive Tree (!)
13. Grandmother Song
14. The Last Snowfall

Course, we don't have copies of the two (!) tracks. And I must admit, that order sounds a little intriguing, as it completely changes some of my preconceptions of the album (Start with Snowfall, end with St. Stephen's Green).

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Postby dbeattie » Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:22 am

Ooooohh... I didn't notice the words "original order" in Michele's post were a link, until you pointed it out! *Feels a little foolish*. ;) Of course, my comments still apply, even if that's not what Michele meant. Now I will have to go listen in that "original" order and see how it goes!

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Postby Michele » Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:58 am

dbeattie wrote:Ooooohh... I didn't notice the words "original order" in Michele's post were a link, until you pointed it out! *Feels a little foolish*. ;)


No no, I edited my post after. :oops: I was just too lazy to link the pic at first. There is so much going on here and that was so long ago, I should have realized it wasn't obvious what I was referring to. Anyway, yeah, I'm curious to hear if it makes a difference or not for anyone...

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Postby roofboy179 » Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:29 pm

I like that you kept Stray Italian Greyhound and Augustine together.

In my opinion, thats the best transition on the album, only because to the B to F# key change, and the little B-B-G#-F# thing in Augustine kind of reminds me of parts on SIG.

My point? Im not sure i have one.


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