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Those who stumbled across the trailer for 'A Family Movie' - a 2006 film about the ongoing multi limbed
sprawl known as 'Danielson Famile' would have seen leader Daniel Smith performing in front of baffled
onlookers dressed as a tree. They would have also been aware of the slightly disarming religious undertones to
their fantastic music which, to be fair, like that of collaborator Sufjan Stevens you can choose to ignore.
Stevens features strongly on this latest opus plucking away at his banjo but several of the old 'Famile' have
since disappeared which is a great shame as their is something lacking in this record that was present before.
An unforced craziness and a sense of 'oomph' that propelled their high water mark 'Ships' to majestic greatness
is replaced by a more pastoral longing and lengthy semi improvised interludes. Given repeated plays though, this album reveals plenty of hidden depths as well as a handful of fantastic songs that sit somewhere between Frank Black and The Cardiacs. Ol' squeaker Smith's shrieks are still going to be an acquired taste but when he is not there as on the godawful 'Lil Norge' the band seem to temporarily turn into The Moldy Peaches. Thankfully its not for long and we are back in Smiths madcap world of musical invention.
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