From Big Notebook for Easy Piano
I am typing this entry behind considerable shielding as I am preparing for slings and arrows to be launched in my general direction for what I’m about to say.
“Daddy Scruff” should have been left off of Big Notebook for Easy Piano. As a stand-alone song, perhaps released on Soaking in the Center of the Universe, I might have liked it better. But as it stands, we get just under six plodding minutes of vague lyrics near the middle of the record that nearly ruin everything that comes before it and after it in the track listing. “Shamrock” and “Tricky Fingers” launch the record and set its tone: fun-sounding songs about darker subject matter. “Birdbrained” cools things off a bit as we have a more intense number that is decidedly less upbeat as the previous two songs, and then we get an even more downbeat number with “Liquorish Vampires.” The momentum of the record and the tone established in the first two songs is teetering as we’ve just had two numbers in a row that have deviated from what they’ve done. Then comes “Daddy Scruff,” sticking out like a sore thumb from the rest. When “Record Stack” begins five minutes and forty-six seconds later, it seems off kilter as it returns to the original sound and tone set by the first two songs on the record and allows us to finally start listening to a cohesive record. I put lots of thought into how the tracks could be readjusted to not kill the momentum of the record, but in the end, the removal of “Daddy Scruff” is all I can come up with to give Big Notebook a chance to compete with In the New-Old Fashioned Way and Instant Nostalgia as my favorite Fluid Ounces record.