A lot of people remember the experience of plugging in a casio keyboard for the first time and wanting to try out all the presets and features all at once. Most of us don't try to call that an album though.
Millions Now Living Will Never Die is the second studio album by American post-rock band Tortoise. The album was released on January 30, 1996 by Thrill Jockey. The album's title is a reference to a phrase used in the Jehovah's Witness faith in the 1920s. It is, for instance, the title of an essay by Joseph Franklin Rutherford, who was the second president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. It was also the slogan of the evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson.By March 1998, the album had sold over 50,000 copies, with 80% as CDs and the remainder as LPs.
A lot of people remember the experience of plugging in a casio keyboard for the first time and wanting to try out all the presets and features all at once. Most of us don't try to call that an album though.
Really surprising. Never heard of this band before. It's instrumental, something that wouldn't have spoken to me much when I was younger, but I find it excellent now. So much variety and interesting textural and atmospheric sounds. A deep surprise I'll probably find myself listening to again in the near future and maybe explore the band's other work. Djed is the 20min experimental, progressive wild ride that reminds me of Fear of a Blank Planet yet even better strung together. Just awesome find.
tortoise is one of the seminal bands in postrock. this is a must listen album for anyone that likes complex, yet gentle long form songs. in the vein of do make say think, explosions in the sky, godspeed you! black emperor
This album is great. Purely instrumental with a really engaging, low-key, atmospheric sound. 'Along the Banks of the River' has been my favourite so far. 4 stars, easy.
Essential Post-Rock album. Opening song Djed spans from electronic buzzing to more rhythmic grooves and driving bass. Pulling in an electric sounding key and devolving into more electronic sound it is the highlight of the album. Halfway through the song it opens into a mix of traditional open guitar and electronic sounds and a xylophone. Background, foreground or whenever you listen to it, it can be on constant repeat.
Beautiful as an instrumental album. Great as background. The first track "Djed" is 21 minute opus that goes in several different directions.
Yo La Tengo meets ambient no vocals
"Millions Now Living Will Never Die" is not only a very good album, but it also a very important album - as a genre defining record in the post rock genre. Everything that would become a staple for this style is here, specially the focus on textures and timbre in the place of common rock structures like riffs and chords. It's as if rock and roll was becoming free jazz. "Djed" is a 20 minute masterpiece that shows how well Tortoise work together as a band, crafting songs together to create minimalistic sounds, beautiful to the years. In this record, however, they still sound a little crude and it's their next record (1998's TNT) that would show what they were really capable of.
Centered around a twenty minute opening salvo that combines glitchy electronica, ECM jazz and muted post-rock, Millions Now Living Will Never Die sees Tortoise take their place amongst the ever changing landscape of alternative rock (or whatever remained of it) and forging fertile ground in the process.
Unusual instrumentals... Can't imagine picking it up to play as an album but still was interesting background filler
Why was this even on the list. Pretty weak.
probably my favorite Tortoise album.
This is my kind of album. Really digging it.
Easy 5 stars for me. Like the "Lo Fi Hiphop" youtube channel, with a bit more experimentation and daring. I loved all the surprising twists and turns this instrumental odyssey took.
I dig it. It's very hard for me to put into words what I got out of the album but I think it's fairly representative of what this album achieves. There's just loads of good composition, arrangement, choice of instrumentation, and it all creates a really wonderful texture for my brain to get lost into. Lots of mental images, feelings, the kind of abstract things you might feel that you know would be unbelievably contrived to try to articulate. Will probably revisit this album as well as the rest of the Tortoise discography. I'm genuinely surprised I didn't discover and adore this album in high school, it would have been right up my alley. I guess this is post rock? The thing that really strikes me is the obvious krautrock influence, and I fucking love that genre of music. It's what immediately pulled me into the album. Good post rock is usually devoid of obvious, masturbatory build up and crescendos behind walls and walls of reverb and delay as a lazy attempt to create some kind of effective aesthetic and feeling of catharsis. This is a fine example of how to make stunning post rock without those cliche's. I wish I had better words to describe. There are a plethora of moments in this album that really get me into the moment and I'm in that holy trance of jam. There are a lot of unexpected left turns and stylistic choices but they don't clash at all, it never feels inconsistent. Tons of variety. I love this album actually.
Yay! Alex Talbot
ethereal, clean, coming of age, both hard and soft, fantastically 90s (cool album name too x)
Really interesting textures and ideas coming together - thought provoking instrument music, great for reading and chilling
Great, experimental, easy going, never boring.
Heel speciale instrumentale muziek. Rustig maar intrigerend.
Right up my alley
Very cool atmospheric Math Rock. Will definitely be adding this to my “background music while I work” collection.
A post-rock classic
I loved this when it first came out. This was innovative post rock and turned my head (slowly, like a tortoise) Still enjoy hearing this from start to finish. Still sounds fresh and innovative. Brilliant
Big fan of post-rock and this didn’t disappoint
Peaceful, exciting, and delightfully complex. I'm glad learned about this band, they provide Can levels of bliss. "The Taut and Tame" blew me away.
Amazing experience, will definitely listen many times again. Great opus.
Ik hou van post-rock. Dus ook dit album was zeer welkom. Lekker instrumentaal, en net vreemd genoeg dat het goed is
Great for listening in one go. Driving music. I like the erratic changes, harmony and flow, as well as variety of instruments and rhythms
It’s really good
10/10 this album has nearly everything I’m a total sucker for complete perfection from beginning to end
во первых очень красивая обложка, вау сам альбом тоже классный мне понравился
Wow! This is an album out of nowhere for me, but it rocks! I could have predicted a lot of the shade being thrown its way in the reviews but it's really cool and quirky. An experience as much as anything, the opening 21 min track bending and winding its way through the soundscape.
This album is one of the most important works of post rock. It experiments with sounds and musical textures in an almost meditative intentional way that allows songs to build, simmer, and dissolve in their own timing. The instrumentation and genre hopping feel like this is almost like a musical laboratory.
Probably my favorite album by Tortoise this is a masterpiece!
The opening track had me instantly excited and intrigued about this group I’ve never heard of. It was an incredible musical journey that was full of little surprises. The rest of the album did not disappoint. I was having some trouble categorizing it in my head (Is this jazz? Lite rock? Progressive rock? ). Whatever it is, I love the use of the vibraphone. I love the occasional squeak of the guitar string. These helped make this album a lot warmer and human than one might expect from something so modern. Excellent!
A genuine discovery! I enjoyed this so much
I've heard of Tortoise! It was good, would listen to again for sure.
I'm not normally one for superlatives but this was a masterpiece
Quite a trip of an album, and honestly surprised by the atmosphere on display.
I forgot how much I loved Tortoise. TNT was on pretty frequent rotation for me back in high school and early college, but I never got around to their other stuff. I'm happy this led me here!
Djed was such a nice track..
Pretty chill, early indie rock/jam band feel, no vocals
I have a soft spot for these types of prog rock albums.
This was really good. Kinda psychadelic. 4.5
Well that was refreshingly good! Still not sure what post-rock is supposed to mean, but I guess I like it.
Really interesting instrumentals!
Had some cool beats, liked the experimental nature of this album.
Meine Güte, das hatte ich ja völlig vergessen, wie konnte das denn passieren? Fühlt sich an wie eine Wiederentdeckung, und zwar vom selben Format wie die Eno-Platte. Wenn ich der 5 Punkte gegeben habe (was ich jetzt gerade nicht mehr tun würde), dann müsste ich das hier auch, weil sie mich genau am selben Nerv erwischt. Krautig, treibend, fordernd, ständig absichtlich verrätselt und natürlich super artsy. Und intellektuelle Rätsel sind ja immer soo schmeichelhaft! Hab aber trotzdem jetzt keine Lust auf volle Punktzahl (wie eben auch bei Eno nicht mehr), weil: ich bin zu erschöpft und zu urlaubsreif und wünsche mir, dass die nächste Platte entweder von Oasis ist, oder was zum richtig glücklichen Abwatschen. 3,6
Ich liebe Tortoise, bin aber diesem Album sonst eher zwiespältig gegenüber eingestellt gewesen; mag am mittlerweile besser verstandenem Monster Opener „Djed“ liegen, das etwas unfertig, abstrakt, strukturell technoid wirkt. Da wirkt einstige Schwäche plötzlich als starke Besonderheit schlechthin, folgen doch dann Stücke, die der klareren Postrock Struktur folgen, für die ich damals eine stärkere Neigung hatte. Die Balance ist vorhanden, wechseln die Tracks zwischen diesen Polen immer wieder ab und doch liegt mir das folgende Album TNT ein klein wenig mehr am Herzen. 3.8
Solid 3.5, gets a 4 because it's better than the other 3s I've rated. When it's good it's excellent, did zone out quite a lot too though
Really enjoyed this, will absolutely listen again.
I liked it. Great to listen to during work. Relaxing enough to feel good about it, interesting enough to not get bored. It was a bit weird how the first song was half of the album and stylistically somewhat different from the second half. The first half I clearly enjoyed more and would have rated it a 4.5 whereas the second half was more of a 3.5 for me.
Impressively atmospheric and immersive.
Pretty dope instrumentals here. Some went on a little too long but a lot of great bass lines and cool use of sounds. I liked it a lot but it was perfect
Really nice listening. A bit experimental at times. Made me think "what's really going on here?"
Quite a surprise of an album. Fully instrumental, I could feel the raw emotion throughout. Will definitely be a repeat listen.
Not Brian Eno, But better than expected
An album that helped establish post-rock. What is post-rock. I don't know. I thought this was krautrock at first. I listened to their other album "TNT" to get a better idea and all I heard was jazz fusion. Nevertheless, this would be a crowning krautrock album that has a general flow but always changing that kep things interesting and fun. It's one of my favorite instrumentals and something I'll play from time to time.
Good music to listen to while working.
cool. very sea and cake.
This was a nice surprise. Entirely instrumental album that was really chill and enjoyable. Nice Lofi music to study or read.
Saw them live at ATP. Great music.
Laid back, technically complex, chill.
I’m partial to a bit of post rock here and there. Mogwai being my go-to choice. In my mind Every Mogwai album sounds like it should be a soundtrack to a zombie apocalypse film like 28-days later. Tortoise dials down the soundtrack to the end of the world thing, it’s not so bleak…. But it is just as slow burning.
This was cool! Never heard of it, will listen again. Great for work and study. The songs run together a bit, but in a good way.
Great for putting on while you’re doing something else. Ambient but not dull
A really relazxing jazz vibe instumental album. I like it
I enjoyed this one - even if as background music I could engage with
Well, I have to say it's remarkable how virtually every postrock album ever (spanning decades, evidenced by the album at hand) manages to deliver this very specific experience: • oh wow what a title/bandname! Clearly master poets at work. • yes, the jams are good (approx t=40 seconds in) • wait, am I still listening to music? where am I? (approx t=somewhere between 40 seconds and 40 minutes in). • looks at the title/bandname, and laments that the music isn't as poetic (not strictly in the literal sense, but in the artistic balance sense) as the labelling attached to it. I'm a postrock fan, but maybe not for the music. I can't say I understand it, either.
Love may they live
like dropping acid while at an aquarium. it's strange, challenging, and your mind wanders, but you find yourself occasionally fascinated by the textures and colors
1990's Krautrock. If you know, you know
I keep trying to come up with things to say about this album, but it demands more attention than I can give it right now. So, for the time being, I'll say it is an instrumental, shoegazey rock album and I like it.
A perfect album for a rainy day doing nothing...Or is it?
Classic post-rock album. The amount of electronic elements really sets them apart too.
I'm so glad to find Tortoise on this list as they're not very well known, but are one of my favourite post-rock bands. The bandleader and multi-instrumentalist John McEntire has been so influential in the post-rock world lending his hand to some great groups such as the Sea and Cake, Gastr del sol, and many of Jim O'Rourke's works. The music here is complex, multi-layered and very atmospheric. I think their next album, TNT is slightly better (with one of my all time fav songs I set my face to the hillside), but Millions is also a real gem.
je m’attendais pas à ça
experimental wallpaper music. smooth textures, nice driving rhythms and interesting digital sounds and glitchy effects. very psychedelic with unusual arrangements. "glass museum" is heavy. great guitar and drums, cute bell tone. "a survey" is dark, mysterious and foreboding. the chirping insect ambience adds a sense of exploration. "the taut and the tame" sounds like stepping into an arena, ready for the boss fight. perfect accompaniment to the prior track (right down to the same guitar tones). the break and subsequent rhythm - plus unique distorted synth sounds - is great and feels like the soundtrack of a gritty street showdown. the final song, "along the banks of rivers" is the darkest song on the project. incredibly ominous, a vague mood of weary apprehension. the sound of going to hell and back.
The post-rock pigeon hole makes it sound more pretentious than it is is. Experimental and much lighter than other post rock offerings like Slint (still love Slint though)
I bought this album back in the 90s after getting into Godspeed and wanting to explore a bit more of the post-rock genre. It's been a long time since I put this on to listen to. My impressions today are similar to those I had when I first got it. There's a lot of good ideas here and some interesting experimentation. The band is definitely trying to do something new here. The opening track Djed seems a bit disjointed to me though. I like most of what by brain calls "side 2" which is tracks 2 - 6. "Glass Museum" and "Along the Banks of Rivers" being the high points for me.
I thought this was interesting. The only post rock I have in my collection is Jambinai, which I don't know if I would call that post rock. The first track probably could have been broken up into different movements as the ideas went along. I have to wonder if they play only portions of it live or not. Instrumentals like this, it's hard to imagine them playing exactly note for note live, because it sounds more like a jam in the studio. Still, it' nice background music and I appreciated it for what it was. Do I need to listen to it again to find deeper meaning? Probably not, but it's there if I wanted to. Up on the high 3's, I think. Rounds up to a 4. I think it may warrant another listen.
Gives me pink floyd vibes. I dig the creativity.
I can see why this is so strongly cited as an influential album. One that takes some time and effort, but definitely worth it.
I've never heard of Tortoise before and Millions Now Living Will Never Die is all new music to me. The opening track "Djed" started off with sounds that reminded me of Pink Floyd, but as the track moved on I was reminded of some of Wilco's work. "Djed" was the longest track, shifting through a few movements, and my favorite track. Non of the tracks had vocals. The music was acoustic, but it sounded like it was put together with an electronic sensibility. I liked the album enough to listen to the bonus tracks from the Japenese edition. I could come back for a second listen.
Enjoyed it. Ambient music-ish
Excellent instrumental album.
I enjoyed this one! I’ll have to give it another listen but it sounds like a less developed Godspeed you! Black Emperor, pretty great!
Thoroughly enjoyed this. This will likely be played more often when working
Almost a classic but not quite. 4 stars. Tortoise's Millions Now Living Will Never Die presents a bass-heavy, tranquil and intriguing post-rock sound which would come to have a profound influence on the nascent sub-genre, radically expanding the territory of post-rock from that staked out by Talk Talk in years past.* * Yes, I did just copy and paste this after a brief Google search. It's 5am and I am hungover alright, what more do you want from me you pack of pricks!?
this has to be sarcastic right? pretty opener to the opening song, but a little hard to listen to while working. Started a 3, but +1 star because it's accoustic.
Still like TNT better.
Is there a worse name for a genre than post-rock? The name carries a distinct whiff of pomposity, of rock being beneath it. I know the name post-punk has exactly the same lexical structure, but that at least harked to the contemporary state of affairs: punk had died and the bands inspired by punk sought to construct something new on the ashes. When the first bands got labelled post-rock (admittedly not by themselves, but by critics eager to prove their pretentiousness), rock wasn't on the mortuary slab: if we take the early 90s as when post-rock became codified, we have grunge shooting into alternative on one side of the Atlantic, Oasis proclaiming that they were rock 'n' roll stars, and metal had long been established as rock's hardy perennial. Still, rock has been pronounced dead for as long as rock as been alive (apparently, the rock critic Richard Meltzer declared rock dead in 1968), so perhaps I'm being too harsh on a legitimate ambition to move away from the limitations of the rock template. But even this smacks of reductionism. Rock has always been adaptive and audacious in its experiments and its thefts (the oft-called freakiest album in the canon is Trout Mask Replica, which is obviously an album that belongs within the classification of rock), so I don't buy the line that post-rock bands are aiming beyond rock. "Post-rock" is essentially a euphemism for "rock what's a bit weird". Not that that's a bad thing at all, but why gussy it up? Anyway, Tortoise are a Chicagoan collective ("band" seems to miss the point) that started when a few refugees from hardcore punk and alternative rock decided that they wanted to show everyone that they could really play their instruments. As such, their music claimed inspiration from electronica, dub, krautrock (uh-oh, that pesky work "rock"), ambient, progressive rock (that damned word again) and fucktons of jazz. This, their second album, took plaudits by the gallon in 1996's end-of-year assessments. And it's fine. It's fine. The music is good, engaging, smart. Writing about it beyond that seems to miss the point, or at least it would bore both me and you, my friendly chunkers. The main jab I have to make is that it doesn't truly elevate me. It doesn't send me to the paradisiac realms, unlike my most beloved albums. And bizarrely, I feel that's not quite its intended purpose. Millions Now Living Will Never Die feels like it just wants to be perfectly good, in the sense of having no bad notes whatsoever, and I guess it manages that. But that lack of abrasion makes it almost inhuman, like it's a computer program rather than a piece of music. Voltaire once wrote that the best is the enemy of the good. With Tortoise, the good is the enemy of the best. I want Tortoise to embrace the imperfection of humanity. I want Tortoise to come out of their shell (thanks for the applause, you've been a wonderful audience!).
Interesting post-punk noise. I liked it.