Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
It used to be standard procedure for rock bands to shun synthesizers and eschew the use of electronic gadgetry, lest they be accused of supporting the woeful descent of "true" music into computerized artificiality. You may... more »
It used to be standard procedure for rock bands to shun synthesizers and eschew the use of electronic gadgetry, lest they be accused of supporting the woeful descent of "true" music into computerized artificiality. You may even recall U2's real-rock flag waving in the days before they created the kind of loopy space-age disco they once guarded us from. These days there's no shame in synths, and even guitar purists can utilize the plugged-in keys without embarrassment. Unfortunately, though, some still haven't figured out what to do with their technological freedom. But thankfully, Ed Ackerson knows. The Minneapolis musician/producer behind Polara can use crazy electronic bleeps and rushes so well, not only do they not impinge on his otherwise straitlaced guitar rock, but they in fact enhance the music's edge. With tools like the Moog, Farfisa, and sampler alongside the traditional guitar, bass, and drums setup, Polara creates lush lo-fi that both Stereolab and the Replacements could love. Though songs like "Letter Bomb" and "Source of Light," from the band's self-titled debut, would make great power pop even without the special effects, it's the added layers of tech icing that turn the tracks into gorgeous sonic treats. The ethereal backdrop works as well on the country-inflected, acoustic-based "Taupe" as it does on "Counting Down," the high-energy opener that swirls and drives like punk rock played through a plastic tube. Co-starring friends such as Velo-Deluxe's John Strohm and Trip Shakespeare's Matt Wilson, Ackerson's Polara is one of the most successful (though perhaps doomed to be unsung) expressions of rock vision in recent memory. --Roni Sarig
Ed ackerson's crowning achievement
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ed Ackerson has been putting out quality records for over a decade now. His Minneapolis-based former band, the 27 Various, was a tragically underrated psychedelic rock band in the vein of late period Small Faces or My Bloody Valentine (depending on which album...) When his band fell apart in '93, he locked himself in the studio with a couple of buddies and, on a relative shoestring budget, knocked out this masterpiece. The songs are consistantly pop friendly, but they cover the gamut stylistically from New Order style dance pop to Grateful Dead-esque acoustic soul. His lyrics are often quite sad, but always eloquent. The thing that makes the record more and more interesting over repeated listenings, though, is the incredible and truly bizarre range of guitar noises. If you are a guitar player of any sort, or if you appreciate quality songwriting, this record will enrich your life."
Great textured indie pop record
Kurt D. Squire | Madison WI United States | 12/31/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"... The album is basically a collection of indie pop songs, played with layers of guitar, synth, loops and so on... a lot like Mercury Rev but with tighter song structures. There's some great pop hooks in here, and unlike the some other reviewers, I think it's played with conviction. If you disregard the hype, you'll find a nice little record here."
Don't listen to the naysayers
Kurt D. Squire | 01/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Just to give this album the respect it deserves, I had to jump in. Although much of the studio wizardry falls flat live (at least it did at the one time I saw them at T.T. the Bears in Cambridge), this album is a great listen from start to finish. Listen to it loud. It's got all the hooks and loops, feedback and fuzz for any of you wall-of-sound rock music fans."