Millions Now Living Will Never Die
With their second album, Chicago post-rock trailblazers Tortoise made an enormous leap. While the band's debut wasn't lacking in innovations, the follow-up takes things to a new level, radically expanding Tortoise's structural sensibilities, stylistic palette, and production approach. Where its predecessor sported a relatively bare-bones sound, Millions Now Living adds all sorts of tricks to Tortoise's bag, from an expanded use of electronics to sections featuring prominent guitar and a bigger role for the vibraphone. Instead of minimalist pieces focused on bass and drums, this time around Tortoise created extended compositions (like the epic "Djed") that feature multiple melodic, dynamic, and textural shifts. Conceptually, the album broadened Tortoise's universe to include the influences of electronica, prog rock, contemporary composers like Steve Reich, the spaghetti western soundtracks of Ennio Morricone, and more. Along the way, Millions became a watershed record not only for Tortoise and post-rock but for the entire '90s indie rock scene as well.