Sometimes reviews are finished products that accurately reflect a critic or writer's thoughts, opinions, and analysis of a recorded work. Other times, a review is nothing more than a snapshot of the relationship between the writer and the work reflecting only what the writer knows and thinks at the moment the review is written.
Most of the time, I have no idea a review I'm writing is going to be the snapshot rather than the finished product when I'm writing it. I've reconsidered enough to know any review is subject to this phenomenon, but I usually believe what I'm writing will be my final verdict.
In rare instances, I know I'm writing a sketch but won't admit it. On those occasions, I hide behind vague phrases and equivocal words allowing me room to extend and revise my comments later. It's not terribly helpful to readers but it allows me to meet my deadline and beats having to admit I don't know what the hell I'm talking about.
I'm changing my scene with West of The Moon by admitting upfront my thoughts on this record are elastic. Why the change? For one, I'm no longer worried about looking like I don't know what I'm talking about because enough of you have tried to fling that charge at me over the years that I've learned to ignore it. I'm also no longer afraid to admit I don't know everything and don't see a fluid relationship with music as a bad thing.
With all that understood, here is what I'm prepared to say about West of The Moon… today. Tuatara stretched itself and went in a new direction with twin releases in 2007 and it was a good idea that led to some good music. The music of East of the Sun has, at present, left a stronger impression on me than West. It isn't a sequel, but a companion to West. Even if I weren't the type to compare one record to another – and I totally am – comparisons between these two records are inevitable and maybe not altogether inappropriate.