Vinyl LP £17.49 MRG447LP
LP on Merge.
CD £13.02 MRG447CD
CD on Merge.
It seems that following her escape from brother Matthew, Eleanor Friedberger has made records that eschew completely the bonkers avant pop of The Fiery Furnaces to create something that veers past a more straightforward take on their loopy music to something that is a little...boring.
Opener ‘I Don’t Want To Bother You’ is extremely repetitive and lacks any melodic twists and turns which would keep the interest going. Better is ‘When I Knew’ which has a vaguely Motown stomp but exemplifies the arrangements which are much more Wave Pictures than Sparks. The album wears on...arrgghh, theres no real nice way to say this but I’m bored. It’s chirpy upbeat guitar pop music with no bells and whistles attached. She has a brilliant, distinctive voice and it was always an odd situation that she held on in the Fiery Furnaces so long as it was obviously so made for pop but hearing her sing such straightforward lyrics...well I keep on thinking something interesting is going to come along but it doesn’t.
That’s not to say it doesn’t have some lovely moments; ‘Echo or Encore’ is a stripped back jazzy acoustic pop exploration that reeks of hot summer afternoons, ‘Tomorrow, Tomorrow’ has a nice chorus which bursts out of the rainclouds, it’s the darker hues suit her delivery. Throughout it’s upbeat poppy music that is completely inoffensive, but it’s neither challenging enough nor boasts the kind of quality songwriting that is required to make such straightforward arrangements become something memorable.
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