That Means You
There are people in this sad and sick world who will proclaim jazz is dead. Then again, these are the same people who have their ears plopped so far beneath the surface of their rectums they cannot discern the difference between beauty and the bathroom of your local Old Country Buffet. If true forms of expression could die so automatically, rock would have been dead circa Foreigner Four and art would have never been born. In short, folks wouldn't be able to stumble into the humble Café Luxx in Minneapolis and see a band like Rare Medium make drinking hard liquor fun without being charged a cover.
This Means You, the debut album from Minneapolis six-piece jazz ensemble Rare Medium, is highly recommended to anyone who can name at least three Steely Dan tunes that were not included on their Decade album. In an era of overproduction and the elusive nature of capturing a live vibe on wax, This Means You, was simply not produced and recorded live in a studio lacking AC on one the hottest days in June. The finished product is amazing considering that, despite the complexity of the numbers, the description and sound is damn near flawless.
From beginning to end, This Means You is stimulating and glows of the classic school of composition. Translation: you don't need to have a vial of LSD in your freezer, a piss poor attitude on conventional society, a beatnik facial blunder and 12 years of liberal arts credits to have the music strike a chord with you. While songs like "That Kid in the Hat" are top notch, no one song sticks out as much as the growing realization that each song is as good as the prior. If you are 18 years old and need a sure fire short cut to sophistication, there is no better place to start than with That Means You: It will get you laid. If you are 40 and contemplating revving up the minivan in a locked garage because your ever-expanding wife plays the Kenny G Christmas album in August, this album may just save your life.
-Timothy L. Fischer