Cranky George – “Nighttime” – Single Review
I’ll put it to you this way…I’m not quite sure what to make of this…and I’m okay with that. This new single by Cranky George could potentially ‘be’ a lot of things if we’re looking to compare it to different genres, artists or bands. I’m not confused as a result of what I’m hearing so much as I am wondering what else might be on their brand-new record Fat Lot Of Good that was just released earlier this week. This first single “Nighttime” offers a glimpse and glance at the overall-ambitious ideas and combinations of style & sound from Cranky George…though whether or not this represents the full-on personality of the music in the band or not is always impossible to tell from the lead-single released. If this IS representative of what’s happening in this LA-based band…then consider me intensely interested.
“Nighttime” plays like…The National, Elbow or The Editors decided to take on Roy Orbison to rewrite & speed-up the sweetness in the music of a track like “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M. or “Imagine” by John Lennon and then voila! Presto! So essentially…you can hear the down-low delivery in the vocals, but the melody is brought to the surface with extraordinary care through a solid building and evolution that takes place on “Nighttime.” Ultimate point being – there are several ideas and directions taken within the sound of this one song that it’d be impossible to brand Cranky George with any one label as a result. Again – I’m cool with that. I think the multi-faceted nature of their sound could potentially bring in quite a large & widespread audience; plus when you factor in the warm & inviting, familiarity in the tones…”Nighttime” becomes quite easy to love.
Notably, the piano, drums and trumpets play a large role in making this song victorious by the ending. Personally I like the gradual build and progressive approach to the writing this melody has…it kind of sneaks up on you and by the time you’ve gotten into the subtle groove & gentle rhythm of the song’s beginning-half, you’re right in the middle of a tune that has really been explored to its every region. “Nighttime” becomes huge by the time it hits its final ninety-seconds or so…but the entire time, it’s been gradually evolving through your speakers until it gets there in a charming and captivating build. Credit also to the backing-vocals and lead-vocals…Cranky George really added in the extra charm through the performances there; I like that it ranges in the approach from the more serious tones to more theatrical delivery. The spot right around the four-minute mark brings this song up to extraordinary new-levels and the vocals rise right along with it before the trumpets come in alongside wild cymbal crashes to take us to the end with a powerful & memorable impact. By the end of “Nighttime,” all I could think to myself was ‘damn, that was a really, really good tune.’
And I kept going back to it. I repeated this cut several times and grew to love it even more. I like the dreamy-vibe and imagery in the words of the opening verse…that’s art right there is what that is. Every time I listened, I felt like I got more out of this song…there’s truly a lot to like about what’s happening here in the writing of “Nighttime.” Matching the ambition of the tune solidly & professionally through the performance – I absolutely ended up loving this tune and definitely found myself interested in what else this band might be up to. Gonna have to check out that new album Fat Lot Of Good…that title might just be a lot more literal than perhaps even they realized.
Find out more about Cranky George at their official page: http://crankygeorge.com/