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Umphrey's McGee - The London Session: A Day at Abbey Road Studios

by Kevin Wierzbicki

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You can take the subtitle of this album literally; not only did Umphrey's cut this album in one day, they cut it in a mere 12-hours. Well, at least the music was laid down at the vaunted English studio in that amount of time; the guys completed the vocals back in the States at studios in Los Angeles and Chicago. Great technical feat aside, what does The London Session hold for fans? Firstly there's one completely new song in the funky, percolating "Bad Friday," a jazz fusion jam with typically airy vocals from Brendan Bayliss. Then there are eight known cuts that have been slightly rearranged for this set, like "Cut the Cable" from last year's Similar Skin album which is a little poppier here, and "No Diablo" which differs from the original mostly in the way the vocals are layered. The most fanatic of fans will hear the differences on the rest of the set --- "Comma Later," "Rocker Part 2," "Out of Order," "Eat," "Glory" and "Plunger" --- and while the band is known for improvisation, there's nothing too far out here. In a nod to the most famous band to ever record at Abbey Road, Umphrey's close the set with a nice take on the Beatles' "I Want You (She's So Heavy)". A very cool addition to the Umphrey's McGee catalog.

Umphrey's McGee - The London Session: A Day at Abbey Road Studios
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