Life Of David

Track Listings
1 Cast Me Away (3:53)
2 Shoe Gazer (4:51)
3 Chameleon (4:22)
4 Into Your Heaven (3:58)
5 Sorry (3:54)
6 Deception (3:31)
7 Bitterness (2:25)
8 Candle Killing Light (4:27)
9 Halo (4:02)
10 Hospital (2:05)


 

Discography
The All Indie E.P. (2006)
Comatose Soul (2004)
Hearts Of Care (2002)
Life of David (2001)
Things I've Done, Things to Come (2000)
Live In Nash- Vegas (2000)
Bomb Bay Babies Vol. 1  (2000)
Definitive Collection (1999)
Strip Cycle (1996)
Fluid (1995)
Rocket and a Bomb (1994)
Screaming Brittle Siren  (1992)

 


Release Date: (2001)
Label: Metro One
Producer: Chris Lizotte


December  Hotel 
Overall Rating:  
+++-

(Shoegazer)

 

Album Review

The thing about prolific songwriters is that they tend to release more albums than they probably should, allowing for impulsive stinker songs to mix with crafted gems that could have been more patiently collected for a full, rich Long-Play savoring. Arguably, Elvis Costello hangs out in that camp; as does Lou Reed; as does the interminable Mike Knott. Maybe that's what 'best ofs' or 'greatest hits' CDs are for? Perhaps. But how much greater a piece when the “best of” collection is the culmination of a specific period-in-time's effort and expression. How much more enriching the painting versus the collage. There is a time and place for a landscape viewing of an artist's evolution, but such transcendence and mental juggling is for family reunions and the occasional photo album perusal. We live in the moment, and the moment is what we want, what we need to experience. The song of moment, the compilation of moments into periods – that is what we need, that is what we live – that is what is real. 'Best ofs' are fantasy at best. The LP, the full-length– this is real, and this is what should be made excellently – here, and now; not in a producer's coffer-filling retrospect. We need patient and selective album generation that represents itself with patience and selectivity.


. . .Blessedly, these songwriters of the prolific sort – these skilled, ingenious, capable makers of song and releasers of spirit – do appease us (the wanton, needy, clingy consumers) once in a while with an album that is not hurried, not slapped together, and not pearls mixed with swine sop – a full work of full songs. Hey, I realize that they have to eat. They have to crank the albums out. It is understandable that they would let unbalanced works slip through the market grill. We will buy them for the gold center. But give them the time. Give them the resources. Allow them to make what they want to make, and they will give us what we want. They will give us The Life of David, Mike Knott's tome of moment.
. . .Every song. Every song is rich. Every song is to be savored. Every song is crafted and lusciously layered with the same care as the one proceeding and following it – extensions of a thematic artery. LP ecstasy for our sticky, ungrateful, presumptuous fingers.


. . .Beginning with the morosely metaphoric "Cast Me Away," and shifting into an "All the Young Dudes" type intro-chorus that resurfaces throughout "Shoe Gazer," The Life of David saunters from heartbreak to heartbreak, doubt to doubt, apology to apology, indignation to indignation, consolation to consolation, deprecation to deprecation – riding on sonic contrasts of soaring background and Knott's silky gruff (his voice tempered to the point where even a Knott-newbie can acquire taste quickly). It is always anyone's guess as to the auto-biographical nature of Knott's songs, but this particular album feels that way – it feels like it's about him; and not about his neighbors or fictional characters. When he sings in the song "Chameleon" about "becoming corporate" and loving "all God's creatures / all but one / this chameleon," I have to wonder if he would really strain on about anyone in such penitent tones other than himself. It's too vulnerable, too sarcastic to not be confession and outro-intro-spective examination. Such is also the case with "Into Your Heaven," a love song soaked with overwhelming, unrestrained personal whimsy. "Halo" is a song so theologically significant in its simplicity and truth that it almost makes up for hundreds of years of spiritual abuse in the Church. The simple statement of "Hell no / I don't care if your halo don't glow" resounds deeply with the character of God – subtly tracing His tender mercies from fallen Adam to chosen Abraham to King David to the 'Prodigal Son' to the thief on the cross next to His dying Son and our resurrected Messiah. In true Mike Knott fashion, the album ends on the lightly strummed solemn chest-beating note of "Hospital" – "I think I need forgiveness / I think I need more than the rest / I think I need just not to know / I think I need a hospital."


. . .The Life of David is not just a whole work of concentrated artistry, with a consistent stream of GOOD songs, it is also a whole work of soul. Knott's broken spirit, sensitive wit, and song-writing mastery deliver to the potential he has always promised, and surprise, surprise – it's to the tune of patience and seized moment.

~ Jason Dodd

 

In 2001, singer/songwriter Michael Knott released his solo album, Life of David. An artist who believes that "most bands are solo artists in a sense," Knott spent a large part of his career in various bands, including Aunt Betty's and Cush. With this release, he ventures alone into what he considers the most telling record he's ever done. Combining the styles of rock, American folk, and British pop, Knott offers throaty vocals that in and of themselves communicate passion and heartfelt sincerity. At times the music verges on gritty and raw, however, it is never lacking in honesty and artistic design. Based on Knott's own experiences, as well as the life of the biblical King David, songs include "Cast Me Away" and "Chameleon."

~ Ashleigh Kittle

 

This is being called a "comeback" album for Michael Knott but I say he never went away. This album is a concept album about the biblical character of David but what strikes me most is Knott's honest, intimate delivery of the songs. Perhaps Knott feels like we imagine David felt, a man riddled with horrible truths as well as vicious rumors, and through it all he hopes to win the race but knows that his strength is gone.

The cd opens with "Cast Me Away" which is probably one of Knotts' best songs in his catalog. The cd from there goes on a back and forth journey musically, from alternative rock to just Mike and his acoustic guitar. "Chameleon" also really stands out as Knott declares in a raspy warble, "I love all God's creatures, all but one, this chameleon". You can't help but notice Knotts' particularly intimate delivery of this song. "Chameleon" lyrically reminds me of the human desperation of LSU songs such as "This Is The Healing" and "Shaded Pain". By the time you get to the end of the cd you have been through a myriad of emotions which ties in great to the end track "Hospital" where Knott declares humbly ""I think I need to write this song/I think I need to sing along/I think I need to quit this job/I think I need a bank to rob/I think I need another show/ I think I need to let you know/ I think I need a hospital".

To be quite honest, I wasn't sure I liked this cd at first. But after a few listens my view totally changed, this is one of Mike Knott's finest moments and I have to believe that , despite it being about the biblical character of David, it is also one of his most honest looks at himself.

~ 1340mag

 

 

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