Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Said the Whale - Taking Abalonia

So I admit it, I first heard about these guys from perezhilton.com. Perhaps I shouldn't admit frequenting such places, but I figure if you haven't checked that site at least once, you aren't doing your part to be the "Great Satan" that Ahmadinejad sees in the world. Anyway, whatever I think about the color scheme and the content, Perez occasionally has good music taste, and this wasn't a disappointment.

The first song I heard from this album was "This Winter I Retire" which is the most distinctive track on the album. Check their Myspace page to get a taste here. I like upbeat songs with a minor feel, so musically I was predisposed to like it, though the lyrics are nothing spectacular. As I listened to the rest of the album, I was lured into just listening, and forgetting to be critical. But a few listens have me somewhat less enthralled. That first track is still distinctive, but the balance of the tracks are derivative sounding, with the most egregious being the second "Live Off Lamb" which James Mercer could probably sue for plagiarism over. The Shins, the Strokes, the Decemberists...an alert listener can place all of them in this album. None of which says that this is a bad album. It's not. But it mostly sounds like B-sides of bands you already like.

In short, there's potential here, coming out particularly in "Plans for the Future" and the already mentioned lead off track. But the potential has yet to be realized, I feel.

3 comments:

Mac said...

I agree their potential definitely comes out in "Plans for the Future." They sound like Weezer on that song.

Nathan said...

Sweet, sweet irony.

Anonymous said...

Just saw these guys in Vancouver. I actually enjoy their free ep more than than Taking Abalonia, which is still good in my books.
I got to hear their new album at the concert recently and thought it was a serious step up. Very much the same genre, but with just more richly crafted songs (and clapping!).I think it supposed to come out in the spring sometime.