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WOODBURY, BRIAN: Anthems and Antithets (4 CD Set)
This is truly EPIC. Brian set out to make this pre-planned tetrology over a year (it took a little longer but there was an intervening and ongoing pandemic), with the connivance, on art grounds, of an amazing range of people and facilities. Now itís done; a dizzying four-CD set of 88 disparate but somehow unified songs (one for each note on the piano), each disciplined by a broad topic and realised in a surprising compendium of styles by a subversive collection of great musicians and arrangers (72 luminaries of contemporary composition, as it says on the cover) - quite a few of whom you are likely to know. These are proper songs: subversive, literate, twisty, devious - marinated in craft with texts as sharp as the music is great. All human life is here. Of course records like this shouldnít exist because - unless movies, television or mainstream pop are paying the bills Ė the studios and the talent involved would break the bank; what we have here is what happens when Ďthe talentí goes rogue with its knowledge and facilities and work on their own account on things they love and respect. CD 4 alone has more twisty complexity in itís little finger than a boxed-set best-of-the-progressive-Ď70s collection. This is a one-off masterclass and, if you care for the art of songs, itís a-have-to-have. Really. And itís cheap. This very limited edition box comes with an extra Ďfull color, do-it-yourself, cut-and-fold Anthems & Antithets pentagonal trapezohedron commemorative item, signed by the authorí AND a free DVD, compiled for this release of 39 highly entertaining professional music videos featuring Brianís songs. While they last.