Out of the blue, the Hollywood actor and practising Buddhist has decided to drop a surprise album entitled Sleeping Tapes. It consists of ambient music composed by Keefus Ciancia (who Wikipedia tells me has helped score movies such as Spiderman 2 and Superbad) layered with soothing spoken-word narrations from Jeff himself, the overall aim of the album being to help insomniacs get some shuteye.
This record is hilariously entertaining and impressively vivid. Rambling at the listener, Jeff takes his audience through various beautiful and intensely intimate scenarios. He takes the listener hand-gliding, makes you wave at a stranger named Neil and lets you share a cottage with him by the sea. He reads poetry to you and describes how when he dies he would like to be turned into a satellite. He even spends an entire track building up the listener with compliments. He told me I have 'strong hands, capable of woodworking' and that he likes my hair.
Does Jeff really want his listeners to fall asleep? I can not help but feel that by adding these clearly abrupt and freaky moments into the tracklist that there is a twang of self-parody going on here .
The record ends with Jeff reminding the listener that it was all done for charity, with donations going directly to No Kid Hungry. He then suggests to anyone that has failed to fall asleep that they repeat the album. By this point, I was so in love with Jeff, so lured in by his eccentric world that I almost did just that. Very rarely do I have these feelings after listening to a whole LP. This can only indicate that Sleeping Tapes is a great album.
In fact, I'd give it a score, but I'm not sure if I can categorise this wholly as music. It's deeper than that. You feel it rather than hear it. I recommend it heartily.