Monday, January 12, 2015

Max Frost Makes Feel Good Music: A Review of Low High Low

At the end of 2014, I stumbled onto the video of a song called White Lies by Max Frost. White Lies is a really catchy tune. Yet, while I could see people dancing to the upbeat tempo, it dealt with the serious topic of infidelity -- you know, the little white lies that people try to tell to cover up their secrets, thinking their partner isn't aware of their extracurricular activities with another. Max holds nothing back in telling his lover he's aware. However, in watching the video you see that he doesn't leave his lover, or truly confront her about her dealings with other men. He's aware, but still hanging on to the hope, or the love, or even simply the physical connection that exists as she straddles him on the couch. The song I'm sure touches home for many people who've dealt with infidelity directly or had a friend truly hurt by it. What's even cooler, is seeing a man open up about being a victim of cheating, and so bluntly. It happens often enough in music, but not nearly so often or so candidly in real life. 

White Lies is apart of an EP called Low High Low, featuring five songs by Max Frost. You can grab it on his website for just $5 or on iTunes for just $3.99. I think it's really a steal because Max makes some really good music, my favorite of the EP being Nice and Slow. Nice and Slow has almost a trance like affect, forcing me to relax. I imagined myself riding around cruising listening to this song. It's the kind of track that you can listen to and not pay attention to the words. The melody of the song and Max's pitch sit perfectly with the music and you can easily just get lost in the sound alone. My interpretation of the lyrics tells me the song is about a one night stand. Max enjoys his time with this girl, the physical sin of their contact, and she wants more. Not of just his manhood, but of the man himself. She wants to move fast, probably because she doesn't want to lose the moment, which is totally contrary to his own intentions. He promises her his presence, but it'll come nice and slow. Sometimes you have to wait for a good thing.

Suspended Animation really hit home for me, because I knew someone who battled with depression and substance abuse for a long time before getting help. I can relate to the song because I like to just kick back in my underwear and play video games all day. Sometimes you just don't give two flying sex pumps about what's going on, and you figure, "hell I've got a little time." It's one of the slower songs on the EP with a similar tempo to Nice and Slow, but it's really about redemption and coming out of the slump. The song while slow, is uplifting and like all of the joints on LHL it just really feels good. 

Glow Long is probably my second favorite record on the EP because the lyrics touch on where I am in my life as an artist myself. Max reminds me in this record that "Life is a game just stay strong, one day your moment will come, you've got to strive till then." Striving is often the most difficult part of pursuing one's passion. It is always easier to give up. I think the lyrics to the song were born out of Max's love for music and the constant work it takes to perfect the craft of songwriting -- along with wondering if it's good enough. Then, once you've realized that you think it's good enough, you wonder if everyone else will too. I could be way off base here, but of the five songs on the EP, it is the most inspirational. And again, I'll say it like a broken record, it just feels good.

The last song on Frost's EP is Be Who You Want and is similar to Glow Long in that it is very personal. For me it's a song about discovery of self, particularly for the artist Max Frost. It's about "doing your own thing," finding the right medicine for your artistic affliction, and not worrying about the rest of the world. That is all about authenticity. Of all the songs it seems to have the most simplistic production and has a feel of jazz to it. The organ in the background gives it a nice touch of soul/gospel. This song I know, or at least I think is all about Max. It however have a takeaway for any artist, and any person really. It speaks to an absolute truth to be who are you are, what you are, and who you want to be. Nothing else in life is worth it if one is not authentically who they are and claim to be. Eventually others will see through a facade that is built to hide ones true self from the light. 

What draws me to Max Frost's music is that the fact that it simply feels good. I'd categorize it as easy listening in a heartbeat. It has a touch of jazz, soul, and alternative rock. Max has a very eclectic style of music and it's hard for me to put my finger on exactly how to term it. For me it's the kind of thing music that I can simply vibe to. It's not so heavy that it's depressing, but it's intelligent enough to make me think. The sounds are paired nicely on each production and Max's vocals seems to be apart of the music. If I don't want to think I don't have to. I can grab a glass or two or three of my favorite red wine and float. The 420 crowd would absolutely love toking a joint to Max's music. It's easy to listen to alone and dance with no mind on how good or most appropriately, how bad I'm doing it. Yet I know a song like White Lies will work in a club environment with sweaty bodies, where many men of my ilk get to bump into pretty girls who we think we have no chance with. 

I hope that Max keeps making his kind of music. What's refreshing is that it feels authentic and the dollars that anyone will spend on his music wont be wasted in my opinion. As an aside, Max's a pretty down to earth guy, who happily interacts with his twitter followers. Particularly this lowly writer here. I think it's refreshing when a talented individual takes the time to interact and share thoughts and ideas with fans. I think Max will be around for a long time and I look forward to the albums that he'll produce in the coming days of 2015 and beyond. 

Connect with Max on his website and on Twitter. If you don't want to stake your $4-$5 bucks on my word, listen to Max's music on his Soundcloud page.

Until next write...

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