on 28 April 2003
This is an album that truly lives up to its name! The songs are diverse, ranging from bright and catchy ("High Atop the Silver Branches") to deep and reflective ("Willowy Man"). The whole album shimmers with psychedelia, thanks to the work of Dave Fridmann (who produced the record) and the collaboration with Elephant 6 heavyweights such as Jeff Magnum and Scott Spillane. Simple but very effective melodies, sung in a high, mournful voice, add real warmth to the record. The lyrics are clever, working on two different levels - while they are surreal and childlike on the surface, they are also deep and emotionally complex. Although the album is great played out loud, there are certain moments that are truly breath-taking on headphones. If you are into the Elephant 6 collective and Flaming Lips-style psychedelic pop, this CD is essential.
on 27 February 2004
The sound of this record is somewhere between the style of The Delgados / Flaming Lips / Mercury Rev (not overly surprising since Dave Fridmann produced this record) and the lighter moments of Olivia Tremor Control. There is a Kinks-like whimsy to certain tracks, which sometimes works and sometimes annoys. Vocally, the singer sounds very similar to Wayne Coyne, with a similarly limited vocal range (which you will either love or hate), and the record benefits from a very clear production (unlike many other Elephant 6 records - though perhaps that is the charm of those). Overall an easy record to listen to, but in my view slightly lacking the depth of either the Elephant 6 "royalty" (OTC, NMH) or the other Dave Fridmann produced bands. Overall, I would give this 3.5 stars. If you enjoy any of the bands above, this is definitely worth a try. If you don't own any records by the above, I would suggest buying the following ahead of this: The Great Eastern (Delgados), The Soft Bulletin (Flaming Lips), Deserters Songs (Mercury Rev), Black Foliage (OTC).
Note there are a lot more reviews on amazon.com (reflecting Elf Power's relative obscurity in the UK), suggest you also read these before making up your mind!