Though I'm not sure when the last time someone released music with a book, I'm certain that I've not reviewed such a thing before. Has this ever been done before? It has to have been. But why can't I think of a strong example of it, like some artist who did it so well that everyone knows "Oh yeah, Beck did that with that one album in 2004"? So, for me, this becomes my starting point. Anyone who releases a book with their music from here on out will be referred back to Idyll Green.
When I was in my early teens, I went to the store with my mom and had some money to spend from Christmas or a birthday- something like that- and I picked up this book about punk rock that came with a CD and when I told her I wanted it she seemed surprised I was choosing a book. This was back in the 1990's, so it seemed like if you wanted to have a book with music included the compact disc was your way to go. Now, we're in 2019 and things have changed for music.
There is this balance I like to think about between music being physical and digital. I'm not sure how I would feel about this book if it came with a CD, for example, so the way that it accompanies digital music just seems to work so well, so perfectly. You could stream this EP, hear a song or two from it somewhere, and never even know the book exists. And though the book tells you about the music, it is still able to stand on its own and you could simply read the book without ever hearing the songs.
Through these five songs you will find music that is smooth and has a soul. I mentioned Beck earlier, seemingly in jest, but there is some comparison to be made here even though it's one of those "But Beck has so much music" types of things. The first song- "4 Days In SA"- has spoken words in the verses with singing in the chorus. Santana-like guitar riffs can be found in the first song as well and on the second track we go into acoustic beats. A pop quality exists within these songs where they are accessible and I could see people who go to clubs and dance to music in that sense teaming up with people at the rock show.
"Moonlit Magic" has beats, more electronics, remains upbeat and is just a fun song. I'm reminded of Fastball somehow on "Fake Love" and if you think of the lines "I need you nightly / Hooked on your love" as being about music and not a person than it's definitely something I can jam to. The last song, "Be The Water", is kind of a titular track and it's mostly instrumental as the only words in the song are the title. Since it is the second half of the title though, it is that note you want to end on which just makes these songs that much more perfect.
I listened to this EP through once before I read the book. I'm not sure whether it would be different if you read the book first and then heard the music, but you might want to try it that way since I didn't. Since listening to the EP more times I've gone back and read parts of the book again. Through poetry, short stories and sketches the book serves as a visual for this audio. When thinking of the two together, I feel like it isn't a case where you have to read the book to enjoy the music or vice versa, but just because you don't have to doesn't mean you shouldn't.