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The Eagles soar,
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This review is from: In Ear Park (Audio CD)
The band, Department Of Eagles, are a duo comprised of musicians Daniel Rossen (from Grizzly Bear) and Fred Nicolaus who were roommates at New York University and 'In Ear Park', their second full-length album release, is an ambitious, grand project with music which could only really be described as undefinable. A mixture of experimental and traditional folk, thoughtful rock and inventive studio sound manipulation make this a constantly intriguing and frequently exciting recording which doesn't get at all boring. An inventive and unrestrained approach to structure and frequent use of less conventional chords make this a real delight for a musician to lose themselves in as well, but it never remains anything less than accessible and enjoyable. In fact, you could imagine a performer such as Harry Nilsson singing some of these tracks ('No One Does It', for example), such is the quality of the songwriting and beauty of the melody.
'Teenagers', possibly my favourite track on 'In Ear Park' reminds me of Mercury Rev at their best with its creaking strings, echoing vocals, vaudeville instrumentation and rippling piano. However, there is an incredible amount of quality all throughout this album such as the delicate, haunting title track, 'In Ear Park', the beautiful McCartney-esque piano ballad 'Herring Bone', the splendidly grand yet slightly warped 'Waves Of Rye' and the gently drifting 'Floating On The Lehigh'... all of these songs have a truly timeless feel to them and yet there is an avant-garde edge to the way they are pieced together and performed which makes them feel strongly up-to-date. I can quite honestly state that there have been few albums released this year which have held my interest and intrigued me as much as this one. Each time you listen to this wonderfully rich collection of songs, you hear something new and although it has been overshadowed by albums which have enjoyed much greater commercial success, there is every chance that this album will one day be recognised for the remarkable piece of work it truly is.