Amygdala

Amygdala

by The Honeydogs
     
 
The Minneapolis band gets a few new members, changes labels (again) and continues to expand its boundaries into art pop with Amygdala. The word means the "almond-shaped groups of neurons in the brain which regulate emotions, specifically fear" explains the press release that accompanies the album -- Honeydogs

Overview

The Minneapolis band gets a few new members, changes labels (again) and continues to expand its boundaries into art pop with Amygdala. The word means the "almond-shaped groups of neurons in the brain which regulate emotions, specifically fear" explains the press release that accompanies the album -- Honeydogs' seventh since its 1995 debut, all for different labels -- and like that peculiar title, the songs written and sung by founder Adam Levy are a convoluted lot. The strummy, Americana sound that defined the band in its early days is a distant memory as this album shifts into an artsy prog/pop/punk and occasional jazz mode that is often more keyboard based. There are connections to Elvis Costello's work, especially in Levy's vocals and lyric heavy approach. Horns, vibraphone and retro styled synths add to the diverse palette that shifts from the early Costello punk of "Rattling My Tin Cup" to the dreamy title track, which could be an outtake from ELO's Face the Music. There is apparently a thematic thread at work about fear, obsession and addiction, at least according to the press notes, but Levy's words are so confusing and cerebral as to make it difficult if not impossible to understand the concepts he is exploring. On a purely musical level, it's a far more enjoyable spin, even if the songs take a few listens, or more, to reveal their twisty, often complex melodic charms. Echoes of the late Beatles, Squeeze and Brit prog pop tumble together with an oblique Americana for a challenging ride that is far from easy listening, especially if you try to untangle Levy's plentiful words and ideas. Song titles such as "Tar Baby Napalm," "The Firing Squad Reloads" and "Ms. Ketchup and the Arsonist" should give you an idea of the often roundabout approach. It's a thought-provoking trip that, while sometimes a bit chilly and muddled both musically and lyrically, finds the band pushing its envelope into stimulating and innovative territory.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/31/2006
Label:
Cc Ent / Copycats
UPC:
0707541839228
catalogNumber:
8392
Rank:
249383

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Honeydogs   Primary Artist
Aimee Mann   Vocals
Jeff Victor   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ
Dan Wilson   Vocals
Noah Levy   Drums
John Munson   Vocals,Double Bass
Joe Savage   Pedal Steel Guitar
Trent Norton   Bass,Vocals,Double Bass,Track Performer
Andra Suchy   Vocals
Brian Halverson   Electric Guitar,Vocals,Track Performer
Peter Anderson   Percussion,Drums,Track Performer,Hand Clapping
Jimmy Coup   Vocals
Laura Bennett   Vocals
Steve Roehm   Vibes

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