Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
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E. A Solinas | MD USA | 09/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Psych-folk is not exactly a new phenomena -- Turin Brakes has been doing it for four years now.
But this enchantingly mellow British duo add a catchier edge to their third album, "Jackinabox," without losing their heavy dose of spacey folk. It lacks the more uniform sound of their past work, but at least the boys are stretching their creative muscles.
The rock-ier vibe of the opening song signals a bit of a change, with a catchy hook and charmingly upbeat vibe. Despite its list of woes, guitarist/singer Ollie Knights sounds optimistic: "The credit card skyline rises high/crushing the sky and multiplies/they're buying up souls to fill their holes/but we know the one thing they don't know/they can't buy the sunshine..."
That rock sound continues, after a stretch of wavering lament -- expect roiling riffs over satiny blips and bleeps. Ollie Knight also gives his vocal abilities a stretch; his past efforts have been wistful and soft, but here he hardens his singing into a rougher, less dreamy sound. And it's actually very successful, although he sounds like a different singer.
But just because Turin Brakes is experimenting with rock doesn't mean that they've abandoned their past sound. Their dreamy psych-folk reenters after a few songs, and makes up a fair amount of the remaining music. They're even more polished than before, mingling the languid acoustic guitar with even more languid songwriting.
But even that gets a stretch with songs like the swirling, hazy title track, where Knights uneasily sings over a psych-folk rhythm. "My world is on fire/someone get some water/cause I think I'm gonna burn." That sense of unease carries through to the delicate finale, which seems uncertain of the world in general. Or is it their musical direction? It's as murky as their music.
It's certainly a credit to Turin Brakes that, like fellow Britpop band Travis, they can do both languid pop and energetic rock. Their rock'n'roll is a shade less engaging their their folkpop, merely because it's far less unusual. But Knights and bandmate Gale Paridjanian carry off their rock desires with energy and verve.
"Jackinabox" is split between rock and psych-folkpop, and so it's never quite even. But Knights and Paridjanian show that they still have what it takes, and they're not going to let it sit and stagnate."