Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Working on their 14th year, North Carolina's Connell brothers, Mike and David, have returned with another example from the countrified, college-rock-fueled, Southeast-based community of vibrant pop forged in the wake of R.... more »
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Working on their 14th year, North Carolina's Connell brothers, Mike and David, have returned with another example from the countrified, college-rock-fueled, Southeast-based community of vibrant pop forged in the wake of R.E.M. Since the mid-'80s, the Connells have maintained a placid bravado in their resistance to musical trends of the present, be it dire, angst-ridden Nirvana-isms or bass-and-drum mixology lessons, sticking with the summery, listenable, indie-pop jangles that originally got them noticed. The new record represents one of the better incarnations of the sound, with road-trippy folk music like "Curly's Train," and the radio-friendly "Crown" typifying the literate, hook-crammed structure that the band seems to have in their blood. An assured and comfortable ride, Still Life seems perfectly appropriate a name for the record, befitting a collection of songs that don't worry about really getting anywhere, tailor-made for lazy days on empty, serene highways. --Matthew Cooke
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Another Connells classic!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Last year lead vocalist Doug MacMillan lost his voice, but now he and Raleigh-based sextet The Connells are crooning up a storm on their satisfying seventh album, a soulful ode to love, life and sticking together. It's a testament to these strident songsters, whose anthemic guitar chimes and smoothly cynical lyrics have branded a Southern-fried college-pop style for over a decade, that their sound is still in keeping with "what the kids like today." In the opening track, "Dull, Brown and Gray," frontman MacMillan dives into the giddy, self-effacing poetry of Mike Connell's cunning lyric. The first radio single is the transcendent "Crown," with an irresistibly hummable chorus, imbuing the spirit of Brit-rock combined with Green-age R.E.M. The pondering "Gauntlet" evokes conflicting thoughts about a woman from the past ("Everybody's sweetheart/Everybody's blowhard/Everybody's fool") Perhaps the song "Still Life" best demonstrates The Connells' newfound momentum ("This still life has its virtues/'Cause everything in motion leaves or is just left behind") Peppering the album are George Huntley's country-flavored ballads such as "Queen of Charades," tinged with gorgeous female back-up vocals. Still Life is produced by Grammy-winner Jim Scott (Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones), and the kaleidoscopic sound is crisp, clear and catchy. Each band member has a writing credit, including drummer Peele Wimberley (the reflective "Bruised"), keyboardist Steve Potak (the harmonizing Beach Boys-style "Glade") and bassist Dave Connell (the mellow instrumental "Pedro Says"). It's refreshing to find that this enduring band has found its voice again."
Return to glory from one of the best pop bands around
Pop Kulcher | San Carlos, CA USA | 08/24/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Pop Kulcher Review: A refreshing comeback from some of my favorite Southern jangle-popsters after a few lackluster albums. While Still Life may not pack in quite as many unforgettable hooks as their two masterpieces from a decade ago (Boylan Heights and Fun & Games), there are enough catchy tunes here to make the album one of the year's clear stand-outs. The trademark tender vocals and interwoven jangle & buzz guitars are front and center. If you still haven't discovered the Connells -- one of the few bands equally appealing to fans of R.E.M.-styled alternative guitar pop and lighter Lilith Fair-styled modern folk -- here's a good place to start."
Power Pop At Its Finest
Pop Kulcher | 06/12/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I taped this CD as soon as I bought it last week, and I haven't taken the tape out of my Walkman since. As with many of the Connells' albums, on the first listen I was ambivalent, but now I can't stop singing along to every song. With each listen, the album grows on me even more. If you're a Connells fan at all, buy this CD. You won't be disappointed."