Music

Fucking in the Streets

Uneasy Listening

It's weird, but falling in love (or even just very strong like) with a record—the kind of infatuation that makes a person want to write about music in the first place—can be detrimental to doing the job of a music critic. Nobody likes a whiner, and, sure, getting to hear new music for free and sometimes still briefly ahead of the leaks is great, but there is a never-ending pileup of new albums coming out to grapple with, mail bins full of manila-enveloped promo CDs that need listening to. Wanting to listen to one album on repeat for days at a time can really get in the way of that already daunting "to hear" pile.

Of course, you can't hear it all. Some old crank famously observed recently that there are now far more hours of music coming out every year than there are actual hours in which to listen to them. The idea that any person could possibly attain some comprehensive firsthand impression of everything that's currently happening (to say nothing of already happened) in music is laughable, let alone the idea that one could have time to hear as well as to think about all that stuff. Which is not to say that a conscientious critic won't still feel an impossible urge to stay on top of it all. (The Stranger's Michaelangelo Matos recently proposed a rebellion against this pressure: the Slow Listening Movement, which attempts to absolve the critic for only being able to hear one thing at a time and proposes a healthier, more sustainable pace for consuming music.)

Anyway, what I'm getting at is that the last few weeks have been a terrible time for my staying on top of it all—there've been missed shows and listening parties, incoming records piling up higher and higher. There are at least a couple of reasons for this, but one is Creaturesque, the forthcoming new album from local indie-pop act Throw Me the Statue (due August 4 via Secretly Canadian).

Creaturesque will be the band's second album—following their much-loved (at least by The Stranger) debut, Moonbeams, which was self-released on bandleader Scott Reitherman's Baskerville Hill label in 2007 and rereleased by Secretly Canadian in 2008—and it is not entirely without the problems that stereotypically plague sophomore releases. Where Moonbeams surprised at several corners, Creaturesque feels comfortably familiar; some of the old album's endearingly rough, homemade edges have been traded for objectively better production (courtesy of Phil Ek); and so on.

But! The best, most lovable things about the band remain: Reitherman's odd knack for cramming unwieldy words and phrases into totally charming pop songs where they should really have no business, the band's simply catchy melodies and flattering arrangements, that chorus-sweetening glockenspiel.

You can hear some of the new material when they play the Vera Project benefit A Drink for the Kids on July 11 at Neumos, opening for Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes. And you'll no doubt be reading more about the band and the album this summer—consider this rant merely a warning. recommended

 

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Wow, I couldn't disagree w/ you more. I can't find one hummable melody or accesible ANYTHING anywhere on the album.
Posted by shaolin monk on June 29, 2009 at 7:04 PM · Report this

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