After one play through Safety in Numbers [Sci Fidelity Records], Umphrey’s McGee’s newest album, one word spilled from my lips… “Shit.” Not shit as in you’re a piece of shit, but shit as in holy shit that was so good!
These boys from Chicago have done it again, and in the process have managed to craft their melodies even more effectively than on their last album Anchor Drops [Sci Fidelity Records]. Sounds impossible, I know. Guitarists Jake Cinninger and Brendan Bayliss play off of each other so well it could bring tears to the eyes of any music lover. These guys know how to please your ears and awaken the tiny little dancer inside of you just waiting to bust out.
Their friendship with rocker Huey Lewis has continued from their performance at the 2005 Jammies and splashed onto this record in several songs; the most notable of them all being “Women, Wine, and Song.” Lewis’s vocals and harmonica really beef up this song and make it fat sounding… I’m talking fat like your Great Aunt B kind of fat.
Lewis isn’t the only star to put his hand in on this great disk. Saxophone phenom Joshua Redman blows out some ridiculous head-spinning runs on “Intentions Clear.” And just to let everyone in the world know that they mean business, Umphrey’s McGee hired famed album artist Strom Thurgenson ( best-known for his Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album cover art) to create the album cover. Truly Umphrey’s McGee are pros at making people say shit!… in the best possible way.