4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Best I have heard in ages,
This review is from: The Stage Names (Audio CD)
I had this album on my list of reccommendations for ages but was initially put off by the very strange name and weird album artwork - well dont be!
I thought it would be some strange avant garde self indulgent material by a crazy acid tripping hippie....
How wrong I could be! I have had this album under a week and i just cant get enough of it - it is almost flawless throughout! its early days yet but i think this is going to make it into my top 5 albums ever. a big call and its companions are albums which i have known and loved for ages, so this may a heat of the moment thing but it is the best thing i have heard in a long long time.
For those of you puzzled by the name and cover - this is actually Indie Rock - and quite accessible too. the band is centred around the 20 something singer songwriter Will Sheff - who looks like the stereotypical geek form corny american teen movies - so they will certainly not be gracing the covers of NME.
The music is lavish yet always centred around a tune - it builds up and changes in all the right places and just when you think a song might be getting a little tedious it goes and does something else wonderfull.
I prefer louder fast tempo tunes and can often have little patience for softer slower songs but on this album Savannah smiles, Plus Ones, John Allyn smith Sails and Girl in Port all have engaging lyrics and lovely instrumentation, they all equal or better to the louder songs on the albums.
'Until it kicks' and the opener are fantistic songs to grab your attention - if 'Until it kicks' was played on the radio it would have a massive response - this is radio friendly music and could fit happily alongside modern day so called 'indie' music and for some reason it really reminds me of the Killers - but without the vast production and synthethisers. The singers sound similar too - so if any teeny popsters are reading this - dont be scared of the unusual name and cover - give it a go. This could be the album that will turn your attentions away from mainstream rock music and open your eyes to the wide vast world of alternative musicians and band sout there that have so much more to offer than a few slick tunes and an image to market to the music press.
all in all i think this is a fantastic listen - it only has nine songs but it feels fuller and richer than any album i have listened to in a long long time.
lots of other reviews may go into all the deep meanings of his lyrics and yes the lyrics and singer are very intelligent and literate but that just makes the great melodic tunes all the better.
I would say that if you like Bright Eyes, the killers, Neutral Milk Hotel, Ed Harcourt, any other good singer songwriters and modern 'indie' (and i mean indie as in recording on independant labels - not 'the kooks') then you will find something here to interest you - if you are still cautious - go to your nearest Zavvi store and have a listen - thats what i did and bought it on the spot.
This has enough meoldy and is polished enough to appeal to a wider audience and is still intelligent enough and well crafted to appeal to the market that seek something more than just a glossy sound and image.