mike haggith - suspended animation







[01]  Sun Perfume  [02:53] 

[02]  The Institution  [03:34]

[03]  "The Ledge" / I Love You Anyways  [05:57]

[04]  Hot Summer Sun  [04:22]

[05]  Trinity  [03:32]

[06]  As Memories Fade Away  [05:14]

[07]  The Day They Killed Small  [03:29]

[08]  Nightmare On Reed Street (Live)  [03:05]

[09]  "1980"  [05:35]

[10]  The Move (Bonus Track)  [02:35]

     While technically Haggith's 43rd career solo effort, the release of Suspended Animation marked the beginning of the modern era in terms of his discography. Featuring ten tracks recorded over a four-month period between September 2010 and January 2011, the record was also Haggith's first strictly digital project, completely shelving his long-used analog recording equipment in favor of a more commercialized sound. From start to finish, Suspended Animation remains one of Haggith's most rock-centric albums, geared heavily toward overdriven guitars, heavily reverberated percussion, and relatively aggressive vocal work.

     Comprised of a mix of straight-cut rock tracks, improvised instrumental and vocal sessions, and one live cut, the record was assembled out of sessions for two separate albums largely due to creative indecision. Not entirely convinced of the sound he wanted to encapsulate on the record, Haggith took the opportunity to meander in and out of various recording and tracking techniques. For every track like Sun Perfume, which was written and arranged in its entirety prior to tracking, there exists a cut like "1980", for which Haggith plugged an old synthesizer into his board and assembled a series of completely improvised loops based around three root chords, and capped the session by improvising a set of disjointed lyrics in the vocal booth. Haggith also opted to include recorded versions of two Thorns songs, as the band had fallen inactive prior to reaching the studio, being As Memories Fade Away and Nightmare On Reed Street. However, in the recording sessions for the latter, he found himself struggling to capture the energy of the song, and thus opted to include a live version of the track on the record instead. Another noteworthy addition to the record's track list was I Love You Anyways, best known as the first song he'd ever written, at the age of six.

     While the goal for this album was a mainstream commercial sound, Haggith's inexperience with digital mixing and mastering resulted in a loud, somewhat distorted-sounding record. Mixing and mastering were completed at high volume thresholds, and the final version of the album was notorious for digital clipping, in part due to a lack of compression during the production process. Despite these sonic drawbacks, Suspended Animation was still generally well-received.

     There's no question that Suspended Animation helped lay the groundwork for Haggith's development as an artist in the years to follow, and although the final sound lacks some of the quality of its successors, the merits of its songwriting and creativity make it a fundamental part of his modern era discography. While CD pressings were manufactured and sold, they have since sold out, and this record is currently not available in physical print. It continues to be available for digital download.

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