In 2000, Tooth & Nail released the debut album from Furthermore, a duo consisting of a guy named Fischer and a girl named Lee. The album, called Fluorescent Jellyfish, never really made a huge impact, becoming somewhat obscure, despite being on one of the bigger labels in Christian music. However, it's a very good album, consisting of a unique style of hip hop and some catchy and interestingly-written lyrics.
One great thing about Furthermore is the use of real instruments. Instead of just using some drum loops or fabricated beats on a computer, the songs use a real drum set, as well as the occasional guitar, bass, piano and keyboard as well. It does have its fair share of sound effects thrown in as well, like on the insanely upbeat and spacey "Another Dimension." And "Figuratively Speaking" does also include a drum loop, but it's layered over some real drums. By no means is that meant to say that drum loops are necessarily bad, but the usage of real drums adds a nice touch to the songs, and they definitely work in favor of the songs' quality.
The guitar and the effect on the drums makes "Fluorescent Jellyfish" a great opener for the album, with an upbeat quasi-rapcore song, and even features a nicely-played guitar solo. It flows nicely into another upbeat song about the best things in life called "Best Of" ("The best things in life look like the first time the blind have sight"). "Daydreaming" incorporates some "ba ba da da da"'s in the chorus that are very similar to the McDonald's slogan, and is followed up by what would be the hit song off this album - if it had one that is. "Are You The Walrus?" is a great song all-around, starting off with a simple piano and drum beat. As the song progresses, it adds layer after layer after layer of different keyboard sounds, all the while Fischer is providing his unique rapping. The music reverts back to the piano and drums midway, then picks back up with almost all the layers and adds a few more before finishing out the song (which, lyrically, takes place in a supermarket where Fischer is doing his normal, mundane, day-to-day activities, when he just starts noticing the meaninglessness and atrocities of the world, even in a scenario like that. He also throws in some satire along the way for good measure, "And as I look around I see a wannabe dad using his belt, on a screaming, oh baby, oh baby, the constellation on his face said he did the same to his lady... I wish it wasn't so, but I'm not supposed to impose family values, you know"). The slower "Moment of Her Time" asks "If love is just a feeling, then why all the hard work?" It picks up with the aforementioned "Another Dimension" and "Figuratively Speaking," followed by the contemplative "Being A Ghost Isn't That Great," which adds an effect to the vocals to make it seem like he really is a ghost in the song. Not a scary or spooky ghost, more like just a wandering spirit wishing he had a body. The advice-offering "Youth of Today" is next, leading to the final song, "Melted Vinyl." It's made up of more of an industrial-type beat, but also a really thick beat as well. The song is a story where Fischer is a character in a Marvel comic book, and he incorporates many of the Marvel super heroes into it, like The Incredible Hulk and several of the X-Men.
Furthermore's Fluorescent Jellyfish is not a hip hop album like others. It's very experimental musically, and there are times where Fischer doesn't worry about rhyming or flowing, but rather just speaking the words he wants to say in time with the beat. Overall, though, it's a fabulous debut for these two. While it may not be an album for everyone, it's certainly worth checking out if you want something that's experimental that doesn't put quality aside.- Review date: 8/28/09, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Tooth & Nail Records
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