Again And Again by Gregory UhlmannRelease date: April 28, 2023
Label: Northern Spy Records
Working within grey areas in music, combining something that supposedly shouldn’t work together is one of the more daunting tasks for artists/musicians.
In the case of Chicago songwriter, guitarist, and producer Gregory Uhlmann and his latest album Again and Again that grey area seems to be working with seemingly ‘everyday’ melodies and then placing them in a more complex, experimental context, something some other Chicago artists like Sea and Cake and even more so Jim O’Rourke (sometimes) do.
Yet to be able to make a musical sense there, you have to be truly familiar with both your ‘regular’ pop and all the more experimental musical forms you want to be dealing with and make sure you get exactly the balance you want to achieve between them.
Uhlmann’s idea here is to favor the pop side of things with the experimental or left-field elements, if you will, serving as the vehicles to accent the melody element.
And he actually achieves exactly the balance he wants here, as all of the nine songs here exhibit not only a great melodic sense but musical playfulness that really makes them shine. Whether it is ‘George’, ‘Homecoming’, the title, or any other track here, Uhlmann makes these airy musical layers and arranges them carefully for a full effect that keeps having a greater effect with each play. Truly intricate.