Since the release of “Those Days,” I’ve been on an Amtrac binge. Reflecting on his production style, he’s left me both elated and annoyed, but I’m otherwise amazed at the scope of his talent.
“Annoyed” may be a strong word– there are definitely songs I don’t like, but I suppose that only humanizes him. Like any healthy relationship, you have to take the good with the bad. If you have foresight enough to be patient and persistent, the good will only get better. In real world relationships, that certainly is not a universal truth, but in the ideal world of musical love affairs, it most certainly is! Moving on…
One track that literally stopped me in my tracks was “Summer’s Over” off his completely free mixtape, Hey There Kiddo. No, I’m not gonna make some stupid cliché about how summer’s really over and stuff, so relax. I am going to tell you a little back story, though.
My mother listened to Karen and the Carpenters, heavily. As a youth, I really savored those moments, internally of course — at 11 or 12 years old, it was only cool to tell my mother how uncool she was. But who could argue with Karen’s silky voice, the way she perfectly hit every note, and how in every song a wealth of harmonics reverberated in your core, grossly emphasizing either the pit of her own sadness or the depth of feeling in each song? Oh God, look at me coming out of the Carpenters’ closet.
Lucky for me, I’m not alone. Seems Amtrac may have an affinity for her as well. Suddenly I feel pretty cool for liking the Carpenters. You still won’t catch me blasting them from my car stereo, straining my vocal chords with tears streaming down my face. No, I’m not quite there yet, but you better bet “Summer’s Over” is on constant repeat. And if you’re wondering, yeah, I can hit Karen’s notes pretty well (brushes nails on shirt). I’ma G.