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  • The Explorers Club Freedom Wind
    Friday, May 9, 2008

    Finally, a band that recognizes the brilliance of the Mike Love-driven, pre-drug casualty Beach Boys sound! Pleased to make your acquaintance, Explorers Club! Way too much time and energy has been wasted on the Smile tragedy. (Personally, I think it was a self-indulgent head-trip that was never funny, not particularly good, and definitely not genius.) It's hard to remember the sound that brought them to the Pet Sounds era--harmony-drenched pop songs deeply indebted to Phil Spector, noted for Wilson harmony, a wall-of-sound that enveloped your listening experience, and heartfelt lyrics that made you feel loved if you were lonely, and even more loved if you were in love.

    I don't have too much information on the band, but I really don't care, because I'm all about the band's vibrations. Yes, the blogging world has been all a-buzz over "Do You Love Me," and rightly so--it's a great song. But like the second side of Beach Boys Today!, it's the second side of Freedom Wind that really sparkles. Long comparison short: these songs are melancholy and beautifully arranged, but they're not over-arranged or over-orchestrated. These songs are the perfect length and the album is the perfect length, too—never overstaying its welcome, always leaving you wanting more.

    The best number of the lot, "Safe Distance," is strumming guitars, harmonies, organ, and I think I hear a ukulele in there, too. It's slow, it's make-out music, it's sitting in the back seat of your daddy's car at midnight on a Friday night after the football game, holding your girlfriend tight and just feeling the moment. That the song is followed by a wonderful song called "Hold Me Tight" only proves my point--this is a high school pop record for high schoolers four decades ago.

    I like the rest of the record, it's a gas, yes, but I'm only going to talk about those two songs, thank you very much, because, after hearing those two songs, I find myself not really caring about the rest of the record. Not that it's bad, but, excuse me, I am in love with the sound here, thank you very much, I'm done gushing, I'll never be done gushing...

    Listen To: "Safe Distance"

    Freedom Wind is released May 20th on Dead Oceans

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    posted by joseph kyle @ 1:49 AM  
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