According to the substantial and illuminating (32 page) liner notes, the sheet music being performed here was only recently unearthed after decades of exile in one of America’s foremost music institutions. Entrusted to the unlikely but enthusiastic candidate of Micheal Johnson (the guiding force of Reclinerland), the Cole Porter and Rogers and Hammerstein-inspired songs take on idiosyncratic charm and surprising depth of character in the den of Portland’s famous Type Foundry Studios. Johnson sits down at the Piano for the duration and sings the lion’s share, but lets fellow music luminaries Colin Meloy (The Decemberists), Adam Selzer (Norfolk and Western), Chad Crouch (Blanket Music), and Morgan Grace sit in at the microphone, infusing the songbook lyrics with cameo alacrity, piquant attitude, and appealing spirit. Buoyed by trumpet melodies and countermelodies, stand-up bass, impressionistic drums, vibraphone and accordion, the arrangements let the melodies shine through with their minimal voicings.An intimate, robustly interpreted, and endearing interpretation of show tune nostalgia emerges in The Ideal Home Music Library that will appeal to Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs fans, delight Broadway theater season ticket holders, charm Pink Martini word-of-mouth revivalists, and soften the most cynical of rock journalist hearts.
The Ideal Home Music Library is the perfect embodiment of HUSH Record’s commitment to visionaries. Reclinerland has achieved something quietly monumental with this collection, wherein music and liner notes dovetail to paint a historical world with bemusing old-world peculiarity, bright, abundant detail and deconstructionist modern verve. It is a world so richly invoked, the listener is compelled to sink into it, and delighted, release any question of authenticity as a moot point.
Give Up Your Film Career 4:17 – Adam Selzer (Norfolk and Western) sings
Long Island City Love Song 2:51 – Morgan Grace sings
The Girl Of My Dreams 2:31 – Michael Johnson sings
Come On Summer 2:35 – Chad Crouch (Blanket Music) sings
Crash Site 2:35 – Michael Johnson sings
One Of Those Nights 2:30 – Morgan Grace sings
Miracle of Miracles 3:22 – Adam Selzer (Norfolk and Western) sings
My New York 4:11 – Michael Johnson sings
Oh James 2:39 – Michael Johnson sings
Stayin’ In 2:24 – Michael Johnson sings
The Lady From Reims 2:07 – Colin Meloy (The Decemberists) sings
Rue Lane 2:19 – Michael Johnson sings