February 23, 2018

The Foreign Films: The Record Collector

Canadian multi-instrumentalist Bill Majoros has scored an A+ for perseverance as he was putting together his magnum opus, the 3LP concept album The Record Collector. He worked industriously on what might well would become the ultimate indie pop project the early 21st Century. Originally intended as a double album by his project The Foreign Films, and preceded by the pop suite Fall Of The Summer Heart in 2013 (a piece that later would turn out to be the closing piece), the double album grew into a triple. Every now and then he would release a digital side as a single dish of the full course meal. And now it's here, housed in a nice slipcase for the LP's, plus a booklet with a short story that helps explaining the story line.

Majoros grouped his songs into three separate themes, telling a different tale on each album, allowing the listeners to follow the ups and downs of the characters. The Record Collector is part autobiography and part make belief and dreams. Real adventures and everyday life events are closely examined, dissected and put back together again as he saw fit. The narrative point view tends to shift, with first-person observations giving way to character voices. It might take awhile to understand that the female voices could be belonging to the same person - the evasive and mysterious Emily, who turns up to various occasions, sometimes not even by name, but it slowly becomes clear that she is the axis around which the album rotates. Is she his muse? Changes are that Majoros is familiar with Dante's Beatrice or Orpheus's Eurydice. Well, maybe not that highbrow, but the "boy meets girl and is afraid to loose her" never gets old.

As the characters get older on each side of the album, from bittersweet high school days to early adulthood and beyond, Majoros finds that there are more questions than answers. After five years in the making The Record Collector is the result quest for trying to understand life through music. He is well aware that he will have to give in to the fact that he will never get a firm grip, but by dedicating the third LP to the fleeting joys of Summer and finding some sort of inner peace he goes out on an optimistic note.

Superb melancholy, complex psych-op orchestrated melodies and top shelf storytelling make this set into instant classic, a collection with so many highlights that is futile to try to pick one or a mere handful. Clear your schedule, disconnect the phone and embark on an epic journey led by a peerless pied piper and his merry band of collaborators. File next to Abbey Road, Smile and Quadrophenia.

The Foreign Films:
Bill Majoros: lead vocals, guitars, piano, rhodes electric piano, moog synthesizer, drums and percussion
Carl Jennings: bass, background vocals
Kori Pop: vocals, additional guitar, omni-chord
Wim Oudijk: string and horn arrangements, misc. tone percussion
Kirk Starkey: cellos
Loretta Hale: cellos, trumpet
Steve Eggers and Dave Eave: background vocals
Josh Hicks and Joel Stouffer: additional drums

The Record Collector will be released as a 3-Disc Box Vinyl Set. Full-colour slipcase includes 180-gram vinyl housed in individual full-colour sleeves plus a 12-page full-colour booklet including the short story Emily & The Star On The Moon. Release date: March 1.

LP 1 - Junior Astronomer's Club

Side A:

  1. Shadow in the Light
  2. The Sun Will Shine Again
  3. Junior Astronomer's Club
  4. The Record Collector
  5. Cinematic Kiss (In Dreams)
  6. She Reveals Her Heart

Side B:

  1. Teardrop Town
  2. Emily Blue
  3. Broken Dreamers
  4. Land of 1000 Goodbyes
  5. State of the Art
  6. Lucky Streak

LP 2 - A Letter (To Our Future Selves)

Side C:

  1. Northern Love Song
  2. Stars in her Eyes
  3. Empire of the night
  4. Girl by the river
  5. The Deluxe
  6. Foolish Symphony (Wait)

Side D:

  1. Aloha Blue Sky
  2. Falling Like A Star
  3. Time Disappears
  4. Dream Another Dream
  5. Sunset Beyond The Sea
  6. A Letter (To Our Future Selves)

LP3 - Fall of the Summer Heart

Side E:

  1. Sweet Sorrow
  2. You Were My Summer Sun
  3. Drive-In
  4. The Loneliest Night
  5. Emily's Dream Sequence (La Magia de Los SueƱos)
  6. Summer Fades

Side F:

  1. Fall of the Summer Heart
  2. Maze of Your Heart
  3. Silver Tears of Rain (My Darling Dear)
  4. Star Gazing
  5. Fall of the Summer Heart
  6. She Disappeared
  7. Victoria (Miss India)
  8. Lost at Sea
  9. Ghost of Myself

» theforeignfilms.com

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