Entrance is the one-man project of Guy Blakeslee. Promises is his first album for Chicago label Thrill Jockey. It features widescreen orchestrations which surround his inspired storytelling. Although Entrance very much has his own style, Promises, on occasion, evokes the likes of Gene Clark, Townes Van Zandt and Scott Walker. New Pixies bass player Paz Lenchantin (also formerly of Zwan and A Perfect Circle) and Warpaint’s Emily Kokal play on the album.
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Depending on you, as a person, you will either be inspired to fuck by ‘Promises’ or totally infuriated. With a wobbling and dramatic voice to match the dockside spirituals of the Waterboys’ Mike Scott and a big, motivational sound a la that famous New Radicals song about giving and getting and stuff, Guy Blakeslee makes sure you remember this record as huge. It’s a big town square and a thousand people.
“Promises” sees Blakeslee joined with bass that’d shift tectonic plates, xylophones recorded to their loudest, crying violins, a marching drum to the face and a choir of pals agreeing with him. It’s long and massive and quite beautiful, all things told, with Blakeslee understanding the blunt force of his music and shadowing it with clumsy lyrical maxims: “time is a cruel yet forgiving friend / who slaps your face and then holds your hand”.
He goes on to “Answers Within”, opening on a folksy picking pattern and continuing to focus on his huge lyrical mantras. It’s quite relentless, Blakeslee continuing to latch onto one particular melody and then giving it the throne -- the chorus in this song is again choirs and strings and grandiosity, though it’s connected with a song altogether more raw in shape. “Waking Up” is a trembling piano ballad with the twinkling production of an overbearing Delta Spirit record, while “Make Believe” is a grand finale of a high-fret picked goodbye, on an EP of four songs. I find the whole record feels weirdly massive considering it never finds the time to get going, but this big music will be loved. I’m sure.
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