Saturday, 22 September 2012

Music: Pomme Fritz by The Orb

An interesting diversion from the predictable treadmill of mainstream music.

Pomme Fritz by The Orb.
An album to wash away the tensions and stresses of the day.
I should probably say straight away that some people – in fact most people – will probably listen to this album and think, ‘What the **** is this!?’  It’s not an album that was ever going to plant itself at the top end of the album charts for months on end.  But having said that it is an album that more people should check out and an album that deserves praise for trying something a bit different.  Actually, something a lot different.

A friend of mine listened to Pomme Fritz a few years ago and just didn’t get it at all.  To his unappreciative non-comprehending ears, some parts of it, in particular the third track ‘We’re Pastie To Be Grill You,’ were just crazy random nonsense.  I would argue that the problem was that he wasn’t listening to it properly.  If you go into this expecting a typical MTV friendly chart album of regular music you’re going to more than a little shocked, not to mention disappointed.

But Pomme Fritz isn’t a regular album of regular music.  Pomme Fritz should be regarded as a relaxation tool to help you wind down at the end of a stressful day at work.  This is an album to lie back to and switch off as you let it wash away all the tensions and stresses of the day.  Many has been the time when I haven’t been able to sleep and I’ll put this on and I soon feel myself drifting off into a calm peaceful state of dreamy relaxation.

A sampled line during the opening track (also called Pomme Fritz) goes, ‘You’ve just had a heavy session of electro-shock therapy and you’re more relaxed than you’ve been in years.  All of those childhood fears magically wiped away … along with most of your personality,’ and it fits the atmosphere of the album perfectly.  The Orb’s magic does indeed leave you feeling utterly relaxed, but thankfully without the need to resort to such extreme methods such as electro-shock therapy and also without the need to erase your personality.

Even the final track 'His Immortal Logness' is perfect to ‘reawaken’ you once again after you’ve undergone your therapy and you’ll wake up again feeling refreshed and full of energy.

It’s hard to describe this album accurately without eventually saying, ‘just listen to it for yourself,’ but a good comparison would be to reference Revolution 9 off The Beatles' White Album.  If you listen to that expecting a piece of three minute radio friendly catchiness you’re going to be left baffled and bamboozled by what you hear, but if you listen to it with an open mind and with no preconceived expectations of what a music album should sound like then you may well find it an interesting diversion from the predictable treadmill of mainstream music.

It’s a similar case with The Orb’s Pomme Fritz.  This is an album which will polarise its listeners and many of them will reside firmly in the confused camp, but those who are lucky enough to ‘get it’ will probably feel passionately enthusiastic about this album and may find that Pomme Fritz is an album they end up listening to over and over again.

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