REVIEW: Project Grand Slam — I’m Falling off of the World (SINGLE)
Through the last three years alone, Project Grand Slam has dropped not one but for really profound LPs that have had critics across the American and international undergrounds talking, largely because of the evenhanded jazz and rock tones they intersperse so brilliantly. The last record this Robert Miller-led bunch released was The Shakespeare Concert, which features a lead single “I’m Falling off of the World” that more or less touches on why this act has been the fan-favorite they have been for the last few years, and why critics like me have been getting as excited every time they drop something fresh.
This track isn’t about giving us insight into the creative process or even highlighting one of the many instrumental or creative aspects that this band has going for them so much as it’s meant to give us a front-row seat to a one of a kind intimate live experience — the likes of which are usually possible only in a radio-style concert performance. It’s exquisitely clean and well-fashioned with the best features this group is able to produce, which is more than can be said for a lot of similar releases currently finding their way to the masses in 2022.
Classic rock and jazz influences combine to make a really killer buoyancy to this single, and I love that at no time do either one of these aesthetical heavyweights make a play for control over the narrative. The poetic side of this song is just too fluid an instrument for conveyance; once we’re in this forest of expression, there’s scarcely a path for us to escape it, which is telling of just how strong a hook Miller is dishing out here.
The singer is making this piece hers, even though it was recorded with another vocalist at the helm of Project Grand Slam, and I would even say that the progressive elements in the music are getting a second life thanks to her feverish vitality. There are a lot of different parts that make this release sound a bit fuller than the original version of “I’m Falling off of the World,” but it was never the intention of PGS to make a copy of their first song — to me, this is a single that was meant to stand on its own, independent from everything else we’ve heard this band deliver through the years.
I’ve always expected a lot out of Project Grand Slam whenever I’ve heard that they’ve got new music coming down the pipes, and with the release of this familiar single, I think they confirm that even putting a unique stamp of material we’ve already heard before isn’t something outside of their wheelhouse at all. If anything, this is a group of musicians who thrive on the provocative task of making something old feel new again, and personally, I don’t think that “I’m Falling off of the World” was made for devout PGS followers alone. It’s perfectly accessible, and it’s going to bring a lot more love this group’s way.