Morning Recordings – Music For Places

Morning Recordings
Music For Places

Awkward as this may seem, until recently I had never given a listen to any Eliott Smith records. Give me a chance to explain myself. I am extremely critical of most singer/songwriters, even the ones that I love. It seems that none of them can write a record that doesn’t contain some filler somewhere. Without the help of other musicians, rarely does one person create a record worth listening to from start to finish. Even my two favorite songwriters, Lou Barlow and Nick Drake, were guilty of crafting what I would call uneven masterpieces. The entirety of Nick Drake’s Bryter Layter is pretty godawful compared with excellent tracks such as “Fly” and “Northern Sky.” Drake’s Pink Moon contains one song, “Know,” that is in my opinion worthless; a single awful lyric wrapped around one terrible repeating guitar line for a minute or two before ending. I love that record, but goddamn if I ever listen to that song; instead it serves as a divider to the two perfect halves of the record. Barlow on the other hand had help from Jason Lowenstein when creating Sebadoh’s Bakesale, and finding the awesome songs on some of his Sentridoh material is like looking for a needle in a haystack. So anyway, to get to the point, I decided to try on one of Smith’s records on for size. I found myself astounded at a supposed genius’s lack of talent for making an even record.

What does this all have to do with Morning Recordings you ask? Why, everything of course. It seems that Pramod Tummala, who is Morning Recordings essentially, has unsuccessfully tried to steal a page from the Elliott Smith handbook. He writes gentle acoustic bedroom pop songs that are completely boring and unoffensive in the slightest. I can see what he’s trying for, and he doesn’t give it too bad of a shot, but somewhere here he misses the mark, coming up with songs that could be leftovers of Grandaddy, Earlimart, or Smith himself. His voice bears a hard-to-overlook resemblance to Mr. Good Will Hunting. The guitar parts of his songs don’t really stand out as much more than simple strummed chords. And in the end what we are left with is little more than another indie-pop singer/songwriter that no one is going to care about.

My advice from one songwriter to the next is that Mr. Tummala spend some more time working on the guitar parts and making the songwriting stronger and less time perfecting recording techniques, because it is evident that at least he is good at that. These recordings sound nice but don’t leave a trace of distinction in my ears.