"After listening to Temporarily Immortal by Beefheart Jr for the third time I can honestly say, this is one of the best records to come out in decades. It's got clever lyrics, great production, pulsating beats and catchy melodies. When I read the liner notes and noticed that Robert Williams played about 95% of the instruments I was dumbfounded. The guitar solos played by his guest artists are tasteful and technically proficient. What I like most about the music is the variation of genres. Unlike most records these days, the songs don't all sound like different versions of the same song.
I can hear influences by Led Zeppelin (Tornado Hit the Paint Store), The Beatles (Beautiful Sunday), Phillip Glass (Pretty Pauline), Frank Zappa (A Bike Ride) and Captain Beefheart (Please Candle with Hair).
I'm happy Robert didn't decide to make a record entirely of Beefheart impersonations. His fresh approach to these gems makes this wonderful CD something I will not get tired of any time soon.
My current favorite is the last song, Before You Play the Blues. Great drumming, inventive song structure and the lyrics are a humourous glimpse into the personal life of Mr. Williams."
Colin Anderson, London, England
"I hope many people will listen to the music, share it and enjoy this new work with the same excitement and energy I've found in it.
This is an album that's impossible to characterize. I've listened to it twice through now, and am struck by the intermingling of personal and universal themes in the story-telling of the lyrics, and the wonderful musicality, that always attends to the important rhythmic component of music - one of its most visceral aspects - but honors tonality, melody and even silence as well.
It's "experimental" in the sense of being willing to disregard labels and genres and just create. It certainly has some echoes of its predecessors and influences, from Zappa and Beefheart to Sun Ra, Coltrane, the Beatles, but like all good synergistic creation,it makes something new from the parts, with wry humor, engaging beats, catchy hooks and lyrics that - contrary to the title of the first cut - actually have something to say.
This is a wonderful effort that has enough to engage me to listen to it again and again. Robert Williams has certainly evolved as a musician over the years, and the fruit of all that learning and growth is shared with all of us here. Well-conceived and well executed, this album deserves to find a wide audience."
-Ned Depew, stuyvesant, ny
"This CD is not following any pop songwriting formula—if any formula at all—other than rhythms being up front and center. Don’t expect hooks and traditional radio songs. These are thematic pieces that are more in the AOR (Album Oriented Rock) spectrum than AM radio. This is more of a soundscape from various sub-pop culture influences.
I enjoyed the refreshing approach to the arrangements and realize this is a CD that takes time to get to know and not a listen-once disc."
-John McCloy, Los Angeles, CA
"After a many, MANY listens, it's obvious this album of songs is a peek into what makes Robert Williams tick. He has handled each composition with care and each one stands alone as one piece of an intricate puzzle. Definitely something for everyone. Divisive rhythms abound with subdlety and complexity.
People who yearn for Beefheart Sr. days will not be dissapointed either. The 7/8 "PLEASE CANDLE WITH HAIR" resounds like a 'lost track' of those days. As strong as any. This isn't just a 'drummers album'. There are some beautiful melodies "AblkErlde" stands out and gives flight to the imagination. This meticulous compilation of Robert Williams musical thoughts on the world today is, whether you agree with them or not, something worth investigating."
-Chris Wahl, Los Angeles, CA
"'Temporarily Immortal' arrived all the way from the USA this morning. I am a man of few words, so forgive the brevity here. Put simply, I love it, was worth the wait and it's the work of a master craftsman. Thanks Robert for an album that has reinstated my faith in creative music writing. Thank you."
- Mike Gailey, DUNDEE, scotland
"The postman has made me happy today. All my life - when I was 7 years old it began to take on the serious form - I've been listening to music. I've heard just about everything.
When people ask what kind of music I like, I say, from Abba to Zappa. It goes in all directions ...from Henry Cow / Slapp Happy to 10cc, from R. Stevie Moore to Sparks, from Frank Sinatra to Zoogz Rift etc. ect.... I have listened very carefully to your album and for me it's a GREAT ALBUM! ....
This is one of the most varied albums I've ever heard ! Thank you for this."
- Theo Zijderveld, Vlaardingen, NL
"Thoroughly enjoyed listening to this album. Fantastic rhythms and every song had me hooked in different ways . Brilliant musicianship .
-Steve Maloney, Swansea, UK
"This CD is getting constantly played at the moment by me with certain tracks getting played more than others. Not that they're bad but certain tracks stand out, especially Tornado Hit The Paint Store. That bass line hits you straight on. Every song is different and you can see the talent this musician has. Not many solo artists can play musical instruments but Robert Williams can. Top musician. Great CD !!!"
-Malcom Maclennan, Inverness, Scotland
"Ok 3 listens so far and i think its awesome! Very well produced! Very well recorded and i like everything on it. Very well done. Its got me not being able to take it off my system."
-Robert Holmes, Derbyshre, UK
"Well I want to thank you for being first on your list of special thanks. And thank you for not letting us down.. This cd is GREAT. Buy this cd you will not be disappointed."
-Scott Williams, Waltham, MA
"It makes a lot of sense for this album to be released in physical CD format exclusively in the initial months of release.. it harkens back to a time (say, as recently as 15 years ago) when records mattered. In a time when software has allowed countless hobbyists to be labeled 'musicians', 'producers', and 'djs', this work reminds us of what it was like when we would wait with baited breath for the next release from our favourite artists; when it was something truly special.
It's not just the seamless fluidity of the genre-jumping range of sounds.. it's the 'it' factor, the spirit, the personality oozing from every bar and lyric, the sheer inventiveness that is something very rarely seen today.
One of the strongest tracks, 'Rich People Suck', is highly relevant in today's political climate of increasing income disparity and social pushback. it's one among many themes of class struggle and justice sprinkled about the track lyrics. a refreshing and bold take on current events at that, artfully executed. As far as the name of the project is concerned, it is beefheart-esque only in the sense that it pushes boundaries with it's creative fearlessness. a track like 'please candle with hair' could certainly be considered a nod to the captain of sorts, but that would be doing that particular track and the album as a whole an injustice. It's a highly original, fully realized work waiting for the world to have spinning 'round in their players repeatedly to properly enjoy and absorb. It has a life of it's own; a thing to get to know. And god willing (for their sake most of all), the public at large will get the chance to know it soon."
-Mark radford, Bristol, UK
"A quick review: When I saw the words Beefheart Jr I was a bit apprehensive. The first listen to these songs was very refreshing in that they weren't a recreation of something old; They are the creation of something new. interesting sonic paintings that jump from each track.. My first reaction was it's like an XTC updated. Great melodies, great musicianship, interesting lyrical content. very smart "Pop" music. To quote Robert's old employer, "If you got ears you got to listen."
Terry McCune, Avon, CO
"Really enjoyed it! I'm a traveling CNA and had time to listen to the album between long distances. Each song sounds different. Really enjoyed the instrumental tracks, The wide variety of musical instruments. "Teenie The Cat" and "Those Amazing Birds" are humorous, in the same tone as Frank Zappa. I've listened to many different genres of music and this cd is a rare breed of its own."
Caleb Feltch, Titusville, FL
"Well I am happy to report that Beefheart Jr album is not a soundalike album - But something quite different. It is incredibly varied and fascinating! Robert performed over 90% of the instruments - With some tunes. in particular "Please candle with hair", He nods to days past with Beefheart. But on the whole it is a varied and unique body of work. To misquote a previous record of his: Buy this record."
Willy Carroll, London, UK
"I've had Temporarily Immortal for a few weeks now, and I must say it's my favourite album of the year so far.
It's rich and complex, yet full of emotional time-signature variations and humorous lyrics. "Rich People Suck" should be the single (but do singles exist anymore?)
With obligatory hints of Captain Beefheart, and gentle reminders of Zappa, this record is bright and refreshing, and won't fit easily into any genre-box."
Charles G. Watson, Toronto, ON