Songs Of The Day 3/1/2015: Leonard Nimoy - "Amphibious Assault" + "Contact" + "Piece of Hope" + "Consilium"


Sean Nelson of The Stranger sorta beat me to a playlist commemorating Leonard Nimoy's prolific recording career, which included his best-known works "Highly Illogical" and "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins." It's intriguing how both Nimoy and William Shatner found musical avenues for their unique visions. I think both of them caught on to the possibilities of an extended Star Trek mythology fairly early on -- if that's truly the case they couldn't have been more right -- and released outsider music that was curiously aware of the shifting era in which Star Trek first existed. Just like Buffalo Springfield!

While between the two of them Shatner ultimately released the best album, after Nimoy dispensed with some of the more awkward pop crossovers everybody in TV Land had to make he came up with some compelling thought pieces. What's really clever about Nimoy's work is that it seemed to relish the most obvious inherited characteristic of Mr. Spock -- his extremely limited functionality for emotion -- and used it as a prism to make certain observations. The image gave Nimoy something to play off on record. Yeah, a lot of it was stilted in a way that only quick-buck albums of the '60s could be. But as a singer Nimoy was charming, certainly not incompetent; as a spoken-word artist he had a nicely straightforward gravitas. And in today's cases, he even put forth visions of some validity.

I fully love "Amphibious Assault," a nicely drawn aural Twilight Zone episode that's kind of like 2001, except it involves a cocktail party and bloodsport. Nimoy himself penned "Contact" and "Piece of Hope," both from his final full-length The Touch of Leonard Nimoy. The bleak, desolate concept of "Contact" goes well with the not-entirely-hokey, peaceful vision of "Hope." Finally, with all apologies for the distracting but loving animation, "Consilium" is as affecting and emotional as Nimoy's final tweet.

As the man said, LLAP. 
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