5/26/2010

Hand claps and finger snaps.

First three adjectives that come to mind when listening to this album:
Mysterious
Refreshing
Contrived?

Three favorite songs on album:
"40 Day Dream"
"Home"
"Desert Song"

Up From Below is a warm and salty mix of hand claps, finger snaps, whistle solos, bare-feet, tambourines, god references, love, and choir style back up vocals. Is this new band of hipsters/hippies the next rock revolution or just a contrived money making scheme? Regardless of the outcome, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros are a dose of fresh air.

Edward Sharpe is alter-ego of Ima Robot's (2003, 2006) Alex Ebert. Now how exactly one journeys from a band consumed with synth dance beats and pelted by white boy rap to the cultish leader of a folk-rock troupe is a mystery to me. It seems as if this journey in such a short period of time could not be made without the prodding of a few high ranking music executives.

The first half of the album oozes foot-tapping, vintage folk-rock. Imagine if Johnny Cash, June Carter, Arcade Fire, and The Doors formed a super group and produced an analog album complete with horns. Do they live up to those comparisons? Well, no, not exactly. But maybe they don't have to. In this age of over-produced music, maybe all we need is a little guidance to get back to the roots of music, and that's is what Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros provide.

Album design:
A definite throw back to a different era. Sunflower included. The typography, the color tints, and  imagery all evokes the 60's.

Images of Edward Sharpe in a coffin are a tad strange. Other oddities include thanking Heath Ledger.


Next Up:
Leslie and the Badgers, Roomful of Smoke (2009)