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“I’m Falling off of the World” by Project Grand Slam

As pivotal to our understanding of the depth of the melody as any of the actual instrumentation, there’s no overstating the importance of the lead vocal in the new single “I’m Falling off of the World” from Project Grand Slam’s The Shakespeare Concert. Although there’s something undeniably strong about the groove in this piece, the magic begins with the melodic cohesion between the different players in this track, which is why I think it stands out from its counterparts on the album as much as it does. All in all, this is Robert Miller and company really rejecting conventions and sounding as smooth as ever.

The attack feels a lot more forceful in this incarnation of “I’m Falling off of the World” than the previous did, which isn’t a knock on the punch of the OG version at all. The fact is that this just angles different, with its narrative feeling so much more based on the instrumental guts of the music than it is on the lyrics on their own. We’re made to experience the real grit of the material in this piece, which was not the case the first time I heard this composition some years ago.

There isn’t a bit of wasted adrenaline in this single, which is to say that all of the energy expended by these players has something to express and get across to the audience as a whole. I would normally have liked a better-mic’d percussion, but it makes sense to me why that element would be a little less than loud in the grander scheme of things; to put the harmonies in the spotlight where they belong, this groove has to be more collective than drum-centric. The best move is to never question PGS’s logic – in the end, they’ve gotten this far for a reason.

I love the straightforwardness of this mix, especially with regards to how it gives us a live-like quality of sound that I wouldn’t usually be expecting out of a studio record. There’s never any debating whether or not we’re listening to real players hitting us with real instrumentation – synthetics are so far out of this mix that they would have been audible to even the most ignorant of ears. Quality in every department matters to Robert Miller, and those who listen to his new single with PGS are going to know that from beginning to end.

You can’t go wrong with the precision of a group like Project Grand Slam, and this is even truer with a song like “I’m Falling off of the World.” For years now, Robert Miller has been called the fountainhead of this unit, but I think this is a revealing piece that really shows us how much of the intensity in his group starts and ends with the chemistry of his players. He’s done a fine job as director of the set, and with so much buzz behind him and his material, I wouldn’t be surprised if this single scored some serious mainstream love this May.

Mindy McCall



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