Commuter Anthems

Commuter Anthems

by Opsvik & Jennings
     
 

The second full CD from this often intriguing duo, Commuter Anthems finds the combination of Aaron Jennings and Eivind Opsvik creating an understatedly captivating album that might be the best late-'60s Beach Boys tribute yet recorded. It might sound like this reduces Commuter Anthems to the realm of simply aping a sound, butSee more details below

Overview

The second full CD from this often intriguing duo, Commuter Anthems finds the combination of Aaron Jennings and Eivind Opsvik creating an understatedly captivating album that might be the best late-'60s Beach Boys tribute yet recorded. It might sound like this reduces Commuter Anthems to the realm of simply aping a sound, but this isn't Elephant 6-style hero worship at play. Rather, the duo deftly suggests the sonic fantasias conjured up by Brian Wilson and his bandmates post-Pet Sounds, stripped of familiar vocal harmonies and up-tempo deliveries in favor of bubbling arrangements and elegant, jazz-tinged breakdowns, creating a new and often strikingly beautiful approach. Certainly song titles like "Silverlake" and, in a way, "Port Authority" suggest an oceanfront atmosphere, and there are flecks of low-key wordless vocals adding to this at points, but Wilson never got quite as moodily funky as the latter turned out to be. The opening "The Last Country Village" starts things off on the right foot with its combination of demi-folk/country twang, twinkling percussion and sudden big bangs, a mélange in the best way. Meantime, more modern touches keep the record firmly placed in its present time -- "Wrong Place Right Time" introduces a skipping record/glitch of sorts beat, while low orchestral tones and drones turning into a keyboard/woodwind fanfare, sounding a bit like Mercury Rev's melancholy majesty circa Deserter's Songs. The tension between new and old crops up to good effect elsewhere -- "Ways" has the lead string part almost feeling like a nostalgic throwback, and yet there's something crumbling around the edges, pretty and weird, with plucked string sounds emphasizing the creepiness a bit more. Some songs are more OK enough mood pieces than anything else, like "The Pendler" and "Lorinda Sea," but this doesn't take away from the surprising impact of this album.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/17/2007
Label:
Rune Grammofon
UPC:
7033662020621
catalogNumber:
2062

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