Monday, May 19, 2008

New Release: Islands - Arm's Way

I couldn't get up the motivation to write a full review for the Islands' sophomore LP, Arm's Way, but I felt I should highlight it anyway, because it's pretty stellar. It's kind of a creepier, more menacing record than Return to the Sea, particularly due to the ominous, cinematic strings and Nick Thorburn (nee Diamonds) singing about getting stabbed and being evil and hemorrhaging and getting attacked by dogs and stuff. It's hard to feel intimidated by Arm's Way, though; Thorburn offers such joyful, irresistible melodies that the album just can't muster the malice for which its often aims. This doesn't make it any worse, just not quite as large a departure from Sea as some might have expected. Still, many of the songs defy orthodox song structures, sometimes ignoring choruses altogether to make room for spontanenous danceable, Calypso-tinged passages (check the end of "J’aime vous voire quitter") and Beach Boys-type harmonizing. Nonetheless, nothing ever feels indulgent, but rather amusingly loose and impulsive, and altogether fun and unassuming. Essentially, though it's not quite as playful as Thorburn's previous work, Islands fans will eat this shit up. And really, I hope everyone does.

Take a listen:

1 comment:

dan said...

That album art?

Definitely a vagina.