Mad Season was the brainchild of Mike McCready of Pearl Jam. He decided he wanted to do a side project with his buddies, under no pressure to create any particular type of music. He got high school buddy Barret Martin (then the drummer of the Screaming Trees, and also a studio drummer, conguero, cellist, concert bassist, marimbist, and vibist), Baker, a studio bass player, and Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley together and told them they were going to make some real music. They gigged locally for a while in Seattle, writing and hanging out. They also scored vocal superman Mark Lanegan for harmonies and low-end vox on a couple of tunes.

The result was a fabulous album titled "Above" with songs written with McCready's pseudo-floydian style and lyrical harmonies of a quality only Staley has achieved in modern years. The ten song set list (with short descriptions) goes like this:

1. Wake Up (a steady, slow, eight-minute song, reminiscent of Pink Floyd)
2. X-Ray mind (going in and out of a pseudo-afro-cuban beat, X-Ray Mind jumps into heavy, super slow rock with a great example of the aforementioned vocal harmonies)
3. River of Deceit (very slow and soft, with a heavy blues influence)
4. Above (steady rock with a very helter-skelter style chorus)
5. Artificial Red (straight-up blues, baby!)
6. Lifeless Dead (this one will rock your world, but very slow)
7. I Don't Know Anything (the heaviest song on the album, this angsty song rocks, while keeping a high level of musical integrity.)
8. Long Gone Day (my personal favorite, this lonely, mellow little song about love lost will make you want to cry)
9. November Hotel (this instrumental piece shows McCready's full range of talent, from the mellow to the rockin'.)
10. All Alone (the perfect end to an outstanding musical experience, All Alone is almost orchestral. A beautiful piece.)

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