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4.3 out of 5 stars9
4.3 out of 5 stars
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I heard the first buzz from Wolf Parade (from another Subpop group) months before their album landed in the indie media's lap.
By the next time I'd heard of them, they were being hailed as the Next Great Thing, with their quirky, catchy pop music and off-kilter vocals. They are also massively hyped as the next big indie thing, after Arcade Fire and alongside Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Fortunately they are also enormous fun to listen to -- think the dancier little brother of Modest Mouse.
"Apologies to the Queen Mary" opens with a clamorous drum solo that sets up a "boom da boom" carnival sound. Then the oddball sound is completed when Spencer Krug starts warbling that you are a runner, and he is his father's son. I can't quite make out what he's saying except for those lines, but it's a wonderfully colorful song that gets grounded by some gritty guitar.
Having successfully hooked in the listener, they segue into transcendent guitar pop, bouncy indie rock that will have you tapping your foot, shimmery ballads, synthy dance melodies, and mournful rock song that slowly waltzes around in a flutter of electric organ. "Same Ghost Every Night" is the peak of this album, and that sound should be explored in future albums.
It ends with the upbeat-sounding, but sad-themed "This Heart's on Fire," where Dan Boeckner does his best imitation with Beck. It's a raw, painful song under all the catchiness, since it is apparently about the death of Boeckner's mother, and you can hear the sorrow in his voice as he sings.
No, it's not genius, and the media will seize another hot young band soon. But Wolf Parade may well be around without them, because they have enough weirdness and musical skill to stick in your mind after the album ends. And instead of a signature sound, they explore different kinds of songs -- mostly with success.
Rather than trying for catchiness alone, they weave the catchiness with waves of sound and a folky edge. Buzzing guitars get to mesh with carnival twinkling and sweeps of electronic organ, and form madly complex, colorful pop tunes... which just happen to be catchy. Think Olivia Tremor Control meets Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.
Krug and Boeckner share vocal duty on various songs, and I have to say I prefer Boeckner's raw, smooth voice. Krug's voice tends toward a melodramatic warble. When he's singing, he seems to destabilize the songs he's in, while Boeckner does the reverse.
While Krug's warbly voice will be a turnoff for some, "Apologies to the Queen Mary" is a fun, colorful pop album, and definitely something worth checking out. Hype or no hype.
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on 16 December 2005
I'll start off by saying just how good Wolf Parade are. The album, produced by Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse is an absolute gem. There are traces of Beck, Bowie and Isaac Brock in the way the songs are sung and there is a massive variation in all of the songs. I don't really want to be drawn into picking out my favourites but at a push I would say the two songs that really build up to something "We Built Another World" and "This Heart's On Fire". They are both anthems due to the shear energy they have.
I Would urge anyone to give this a listen. You won't be dissapointed.
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on 10 March 2006
I must be older than many of the Wolf Parade fans - the bands I hear in their music include Television, the Doors, David Bowie, Magazine, XTC and the Replacements.
I'm not familiar with Modest Mouse, or the guy from them who produced this record, but I can assure discerning listeners out there that this record is consistently brilliant, and I mean that in the same way that as, for example, Television's Marquee Moon, Wilco's 'Yankee Hotel Foxtrot' and Big Star's 'Radio City' are.
I could go on and describe the songs, their make-up, the fantastic riffs and instrumental breaks, the dueling vocal styles of the two singers, and of course the eerily cerebral lyrics - but you should find that out for yourself.
This record is a genuinely satisfying, and a grower - its not a 'gimme generation' instant fix, so play it often and play it LOUD.
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on 1 December 2005
Wolf Parade are very similar to The Arcade Fire in that their song structures reward patience and repeat listens. If one only takes a cursory review of Apologies To The Queen Mary then one may be disappointed in that there are few catchy numbers here (possibly with the exception of 'We Built Another World').
However if one digs deeper then soaring melodies expose themselves midway through songs which completely change the direction of the song. The result is that individual tracks are spruced up somewhat and allow a much more winding and coherent album as a whole.
My favourite tracks would be 'Grounds For Divorce', 'We Built Another World', 'It's A Cure' and the storming finale 'This Heart's On Fire'.
Name dropping aside, this is a wonderfully-made, thoughtful piece of music that you should buy!
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on 29 March 2008
One of the most interesting, deep and rewarding pop records I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. It's got it all: Ambiguous yet playful and unpretentious lyrics, intelligent and considered progressive song structures without being contrived and melodies that creep up and wrap themselves around you over time.

It just seems to grow and grow.

Absolutely perfect from where I'm sitting.
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on 3 August 2006
I first stumbled across the sublime wolf parade well over a year ago, just as their first e.p was becoming available. I instantly fell in love. I fell in love with their chaotic structure, the unique voices of (more) Krug and Boeckner. the simple, yet sheer genious lyrics that they provide us with 'when i die / im making you my feet / when you die / you can stand up for me' (fancy claps), 'I'll draw three figures on your heart /And one of them will be me as a boy' (You are a runner, I am my fathers son), with catchy riffs, spliced with interesting outside effects.

to add even more to this great album, is its producer, the equally talented Isaac Brock, of fame with the mighty Modest Mouse. Therefore, an inevitble link with the two bands is created with this album, 'apologies to the queen mary.'

i am a huge wolf parade fan, so obioulsy my views are slightly (slightly) biased, but even i will admit to prefering Krug's work in the band to Boeckner's...so inevitably, i'm also going to refer you to sunset rubdown, a side project of Krugs, another fantastic acjievement from the man who has given music so much
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on 27 December 2005
If you haven't already heard this astonishing album buy it now!!! pure class!!! there aren't many flawless albums i've encountered but this is one of the true gems of the last many years, from start to finish it's packed with scintillating, powerful songs - leaving the listener blown away and gasping for more, cant stop listening to it!!
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on 21 March 2006
I don't think the record deserves 5 stars.I reckon about 3. Unfortunately, this record didn't really take off for me. It contains neither songs I love nor songs I passionately loathe. It's not middle-of-the-road either like the Magic Numbers, for instance. The guy's voice isn't the most appealing - i don't find it comforting nor do I find it inspiring. It sounds like a lot of stuff I've heard somewhere before. Give it a listen first.
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on 10 November 2006
I was sent this as a gift after I expressed my love for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. I initially wasn't keen because it sounded too much like those pretentious 'arty' saps, Arcade Fire, and try as I might, after listening to it repeatedly, I cannot get into it. First, the vocals make me want to cringe - for the most part they are screeching, warbling and cringeworthy. If you dig Arcade Fire, you may go for it. Otherwise, get out the ear plugs. The music just sounds too random and unfocussed. It seems to be indie for indie's sake - hey, if we sound random, it's because we're genuine, original and not for the masses and therefore credible. Er, no. Moreover, I found very little harmony between music and vocals. Clap Your Hands' self-titled album leaves this in the mud. There is no comparison. Two stars for effort.
11 comment|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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