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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real Estate - Enjoy the Melodic Sunshine, 3 Mar 2014
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Atlas [VINYL] (Vinyl)
The only way to describe the new album by New Jersey stalwarts "Real Estate" is to echo the title of a sadly forgotten album by the Scottish band the Cosmic Rough Riders. Indeed their opus "Enjoy the Melodic Sunshine" has some similarities with "Atlas" since it often drew copious comparisons with bands like the Byrds, REM, Teenage Fanclub and the Jayhawks which are shared reference points for Real Estate. This album is essentially a blast of warm colour into a winter characterised by black sheets of rain. It is not a difficult listen by any standards, but there is real depth to be located in its grooves. It is safe to say that by the third listen "Atlas" will be a really good familiar old friend, one which you will turn to when you are confused for choice and you when you desire a reliable set of heartwarming shimmering pop rock headed up with with a capital "Q" for quality.

Things start well on "Atlas" and get better. Indeed this reviewer has had to be dragged screaming from playing the first three tracks on repeat. The lovely opener "Had to Hear" jingles and jangles with Gene Clark like chords and a melody to kill for. It is splendidly bettered by the forlorn "Past Lives" destined to be the soundtrack as the dying embers of a summer barbecue fade into a dark night sky. Best of all is the joyous single "Talking Backwards" where the mix of Martin Courtney's bittersweet vocals and the flowing guitar lines of Matt Mondanile's pulsating guitar melodies reach a true synthesis. The joyful instrumental "April Song" reinforces this but the clinchers come later with the brilliant chiming chords of "Primitive" which is the best Norman Blake song he never wrote; concluding with a nice guitar workout to seal the deal. This blissed out state concludes with "Navigator" a melancholy ode to the way that time passes and defeats us.

Ultimately you know what you get with this band. It may be that a "Real Estate plays Death Metal" album might be lurking in the depth of some unlikely recording vault, yet for now "Atlas" comfortably surpasses any of the bands previous two efforts and if their sin is "predictability" then their massive strength is great songwriting and the best ear for melody this side of Michael Stipe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars American Europeans, 3 April 2014
By 
M. J. Powell "o/i mndspc" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Atlas (MP3 Download)
The album with its title derives from the German painter Gerhard Richter, who published a book of photos of the same title, with a similarly designed layout, so the album is obviously aiming high, with its cover art. The album itself in part is a little reminiscent of Neu, and Michael Rother, particularly on the instrumental track, but reinterpreted into a kind of fey Americana. A good album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jingle Jangle supreme!, 3 April 2014
By 
R. C. Ralls "The End" (Devon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Atlas (Audio CD)
A summery feel good album. Melody clear sounds not cheesy. Takes me back to 1995. A must buy for any music lover.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crusiing music, 21 Mar 2014
By 
K. J. Turner "Keith Patnem" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Atlas (Audio CD)
Nice flowing west coast retro feel, nice vocal, yet to hear it in Car but would sound great cruising around. Generaly pleasant Indie pop music. However, with all these new bands, so often they are brilliant live and have to can in down for an album, I think this will be a grower and will become a soft rock favourite.
I have only recently started entertaining some of these new indie bands, coming from Jam rock like the Dead, Widespread Panic and Phish, just wondering why the mix and production is so reticent, the musicians need to go back and listen to American Beauty or Neil Youngs early stuff, and get a producer who knows how to kick ass.
Muscle Shoals sound would lift them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Definition of 'Laid Back', 14 July 2014
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This review is from: Atlas (Audio CD)
It's a great shame that this came out around the same time as The War On Drugs 'Lost In The Dream' because, buying them together and with 'Atlas' being a more subtle beast, it didn't get a look in for a long while on my CD player.
While it doesn't have some of the amazing hooks present on the self-titled debut and even better 'Days', it has a beautiful, dreamlike flow that just takes you away on a bright summer's day. It's the very definition of laid back but not in a stoned, aimless way. As is their modus operandi, the band find a groove/melody and lock onto it in a mesmeric fashion - you just need to give yourself to the music, the universal lyrics and drift...
Highlights for me are 'Talking Backwards' and closer 'Navigator' but it's probably best to enjoy as a delicately shifting suite of chiming Anglophilic indie-jangle beamed in from the late 80s/early 90s.
Another winning summer soundtrack from the ironically tight ensemble who deal with looseness.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great band., 12 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Atlas (Audio CD)
This was a present to my nephew as I'd heard their music on the radio and thought he would really like it. He does. He said he'd not heard of Real Estate before but really does like this album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is the Summer Album you want in 2014, 23 May 2014
By 
P. J. Sharp "Hill Top Man" (Marlow) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Atlas [VINYL] (Vinyl)
What a fantastic, uplifting, lilting and generally feel good LP.
Every year it gets to spring and i really fancy a soundtrack to while away the days - i thought it might have been Beck's Morning Phase - but whilst it is great, it lacks the hook to drive along the M4 to! This release has lovely guitar notes, gently hazy singing, but also enough energy to turn your head.
Teh influences are obviously deep and wide - but not in the retrograde 'Yuck' way - instead we get a whisper of very early REM, a hint of 'Surf's Up', and little taste of 'Bandwagonesque all mixed in with a wash of 'Van Occupanther' hooks.
Listen to it on Spotify first, but buy the LP - beutifully housed in an embossed gatefold sleeve with a great little postcard and a download.
Soundtrack to the Summer.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's new, it's fey, it's jangly, 28 Mar 2014
By 
Ianham "Ianham" (Ross-shire, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Atlas (MP3 Download)
I'll keep this brief.

Primal Scream - Sonic Flower Groove - Spirea X - Fireblade Skies - Jim Beattie's twelve string.

I rest my case M'Lud.

I commend this CD to the House.
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Atlas by Real Estate (Audio CD - 2014)
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