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Oh Tall Tree in the Ear
     

Oh Tall Tree in the Ear

5.0 1
by Roman Candle
 
The Matheny family from Chapel Hill offers another album of power pop-infused alternative country songs with Oh Tall Tree in the Ear. As on Roman Candle's previous releases, Skip Matheny sings passionately about romance, heartbreak, and life on the road while his wife, Timshel, riffs away on guitar and

Overview

The Matheny family from Chapel Hill offers another album of power pop-infused alternative country songs with Oh Tall Tree in the Ear. As on Roman Candle's previous releases, Skip Matheny sings passionately about romance, heartbreak, and life on the road while his wife, Timshel, riffs away on guitar and brother Logan attacks or cuddles the drums as appropriate. Obvious influences the dB's, Van Morrison, and Big Star inform most of the album's 11 songs; dBer Chris Stamey returns to co-produce with Jason Lehning, and the result is a bright, bold, and somewhat epic concoction that too frequently drowns out the vocals, making the lyrics a little hard to grasp. The first half of the album greatly outpaces the somewhat lazy-feeling second half, with openers "Eden Was a Garden" and "One More Road" setting a standard that isn't really met again until the Phil Spector production-style closer, "Early Aubade." Literary references are littered throughout, but they'll slip past most listeners' radar. "Why Modern Radio Is A-OK" is kind of funny in its satirical take on lost love. In the song, Matheny sings that it's just fine to listen to "high school emo bands...versin' and chorusin'," because hearing good old mainstays like Sam Cooke, Van Morrison, and Bob Dylan on the jukebox brings back too many memories of a past relationship. "Big Light" is another winner, a mini-stunner that builds and builds its guitar, Farfisa, and drums symphony, and Matheny provides some of his most expressive vocals. As much as the production could be taken to task in the first half for the guitars being too loud in the mix, the second half of the album slows down almost to the point of blandness and some of the songs feel like rushed throwaways. That's not to say Roman Candle or genre fans won't appreciate the second half of the album, but there's almost a sense it could have benefited from being broken into two decent EPs with the lesser songs removed. That being said, Oh Tall Tree in the Ear is a sometimes exhilarating, often winning slice-of-life affair in the best tradition of catchy alt-country. It might not be a classic, but there's a sense Roman Candle are capable of crafting one.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/12/2009
Label:
Thirty Tigers
UPC:
0899537000931
catalogNumber:
3700093

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Roman Candle   Primary Artist
Jason Lehning   Bass,Guitar,Horn,Juno
Jeff Irwin   Bass
Jordan Lehning   Guitar,Mandolin,Theremin,Mellotron
Logan Matheny   Group Member
Skip Matheny   Group Member
Timshel Matheny   Group Member
Justin Saunders   Cello

Technical Credits

Chris Stamey   Engineer,Vocal Producer
Jason Lehning   Arranger,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Stephen Michell   translation
Rob Clark   Engineer
Matt Hanks   Publicity
Roman Candle   Composer
Jordan Lehning   Engineer
Kyle Ford   Engineer

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Oh Tall Tree in the Ear 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago