Right from the opening track “Caroline“. I had this dream image of me and my gal Emily Haines(Of Metric) laying down on the beach drinking something that involves vodka and an umbrella(hey I said it was a dream ok.). There was something rather quite unique and different from this duo that made it difficult to put into just one genre. At one point this is simple guitar folk rock with references to Simon and Garfunkel, but then it adds in this electronica element that reminded me a little bit of Air. This is a genre known as Folktronica, which is something I’m not too familiar with. But if any producer happens upon this review. It would be interesting to hear some club tracks for some of these songs. I just wish that “Perils From The Sea” didn’t rely heavily on the keyboard for the rest of the album
The vocals in this are good, but I keep seeing Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam singing over a Casio Keyboard on certain tracks. Especially with the song “What Ever Happened To My Brother“. The use of techno like beats and keyboard sounds are nice but they overpower those ones that would have worked much better with other instruments. Tracks like “You Missed My Heart” and “By The Time That I Awoke” wouldn’t sound so stale if they had something more added to them. Listen to tracks by Portishead or Air as I mentioned before. These bands are widely regarded as Electronica and yet they incorperate more into their sound then just the basic beats one could find by hitting the demo button on their Keyboard. Now other tracks like “He Allways Felt Like Dancing” and their 11 minute epic “Somehow The Wonder of Life Prevails” benefits more from the lack of other sounds because these tracks are telling more of a personal story. The music video for “Somehow The Wonder…”is one I would like to see, and if you are a good director that is great with the visuals. The results would be something very cool to check out. (This means you, Terrence Malick).
I have never heard of either of these two artists or the previous bands that they were usually associated with. Mark Kozelek was the lead singer of Sun Kil Moon and Jimmy LaValle was the man behind the music of The Album Leaf. However I can’t help but think there was a much better name for this band then what we have. This is their first collaboration together, yet many of their songs felt like they was created by one person. The use of guitar and keyboards blend so well on that first track I mentioned (“Caroline“) I was hoping the whole album would be a great combo between the two. Instead what I hear is a great songwriter who is giving me his demo tape rather than a full album.