Custom emailed me 14 MP3s of tunes he's considering for his new album, requesting my honest feedback. I got the MP3s yesterday and began playing them while I worked yesterday and today. Then, I burned them to CD and played them in the car on the way home this afternoon. Then, I played the CD on the living room stereo while we ate our dinner.
Although at first I wasn't sure, I knew there was something special happening when I caught myself singing each song out loud and felt my heart rate increase as it does when I'm hearing tunes I dig. This is an amazing collection of music that I'm just loving. I caught myself enjoying these tracks late this afternoon but couldn't tell if I was listening with rose coloured headphones because I'm getting an exclusive and I've become friends with the artist himself. Because I knew I was tainted with this bias, I actually tried not to love these tunes. I wanted to tell Duane a few of the tunes were duds. I wanted to give him a list of songs he'd best keep on the cutting room floor. I didn't want to be a starf*cker, telling the artist everything he touches is gold when I know it's not.
Instead I'm left totally digging all fourteen songs. I like each one for a different reason and there's not one I'm skipping over at this point. In fact, I'm no longer listening because Duane wants my feedback but because it's already my favourite album of 2005. It's a more mature Custom with some beautiful compositions and thought provoking lyrics. It's a little slower than fans of "Hey Mister" would expect, but it's slightly melancholy nature reminds me of Hayden and Nick Cave with a sprinkle of Hip Hop thrown in the mix.
I haven't yet shared this feedback with Duane but I will shortly. He promised me earlier today to send me a few more files so I'll wait to hear those. If they're as good as the first fourteen I've heard, this could be quite the album.