Thursday, April 2, 2009

What We're Listening To - Bishop Allen's Grrr

How can you not like Bishop Allen?

A week doesn't go by where I don't put on The Broken String, when I'm not humming a tune or quoting a song. It's my eldest son's favorite album (Click Click Click being his favorite song).

So I, like a lot of people I know, have been eagerly waiting for the follow up.

And it's here, amid a slew of other great albums, vying for attention on my iPod. And as much as I'm loving the new M. Ward, and finding out new songs to like on Dark Was the Night (New Pornographers, what?), this album has been a siren song, calling me back.

I heard a lot of these back at the concert in October, and it sounded good then, even if not totally fleshed out. I'm actually kind of sad I'm missing them this tour, because I can only imagine that after a few months of touring, these songs sound incredible live.

Essentially, Bishop Allen makes nerdy, sing-along college indie pop (that was an actual bin label at Coconuts). They use words like filibuster. They use Shanghai as a verb, and it's not racist. There's a guy playing a recorder. Lots of weird percussion shows up.

It is a fun record.

Yet, it doesn't hold on as well as Broken String. The past is prologue and all that jazz, but if you go in looking for the same kind of pop perfection, you'll be sorely disappointed. South China Moon seems oddly dark. The album opener doesn't really hook you like The Monitor.

But if you're patient, you'll be rewarded. Dirt On Your Shoes is pretty song about failure. Oklahoma makes me bounce whenever I hear it. And True or False is better song than Butterfly Nets (Heresay, I know).

The good outweighs the bit of bad, and this music is still sunny. And like a plenty of sunshine on a barely cloudy day, I think you'll enjoy this album

Get Bishop Allen's Grrr...

Buy from Amazon

Download from eMusic

Buy directly from Bishop Allen

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