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American Adventure
     

The American Adventure

by The Electric Soft Parade
 
The American Adventure is not nearly the same as the Electric Soft Parade's first. England's ESP made one of the sleeper LPs of the 2000s with their first effort, Holes in the Wall, which might easily be described for the majority over here who never heard it as a band on par with the Doves, only with more explosive tendencies,

Overview

The American Adventure is not nearly the same as the Electric Soft Parade's first. England's ESP made one of the sleeper LPs of the 2000s with their first effort, Holes in the Wall, which might easily be described for the majority over here who never heard it as a band on par with the Doves, only with more explosive tendencies, and more general bite despite the great textures. And while fans no doubt wanted, as they always do, something the same but somehow different, brothers Alex and Tom White aren't agreeable with that. They abandon any semblance of their first LP's clockwork consistency for a bumpy ride of an LP that shifts gears from song to song, or mid-song abruptly but successfully throughout. Once again proving capable of engineering and producing themselves with terrific sonic touch, the atmospherics remain, but much of The American Adventure is both clearer and more direct, amplifying the basketful of surprises that leap out of every sudden turn. An ambitious, and sometimes sprawling ("The Wrongest Thing in Town," "The American Adventure") affair, you find yourself enthralled by the hammering tendencies of the arresting opener, "Things I've Done Before" and the well-named "Lights Out." But just as quickly, you're nodding your head to the Beach Boys/baroque tendencies that spring out of the damage like chirping birdies in the middle of an area just destroyed by fire. It happens with such alarming frequency here, you almost feel like you're being thrown and shoved, as the staccato, sharp-edged guitars of the new U.K. single "Lose Yr. Frown" are continually undercut by these incongruent chamber passages. It feels like you're working in a furnace and the air conditioning keeps blinking on and off. Mind you, as the formidable first half gives way to the four-song second, the group stretches out a little too much and starts losing a good deal of their tightly wound elasticity, too content to bliss out at times in a hazy prog rock indolence and '70s Pink Floyd comfortable numbness in comparison. But even much of this has a disquieting and artistic quality, found in the 154-Wire chants of the title track and the darting sounds of the second half of "Chaos." So, the only question that remains is the same one as before. With a major label English act this good, why has no one put them out here and brought them over? Surely it is time for the kind of American Adventure that involves a stage near us, and pronto.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/28/2003
Label:
Bmg Int'l
UPC:
0828765636926
catalogNumber:
56369

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