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Lambchop - Aw C'Mon/No You C'Mon


Review: Jack Foley

LAMBCHOP return with another sprawling dose of mostly happy-go-lucky alt-rock, which comes in the form of a double CD that's sure to appeal to their die-hard fanbase.

But while there are moments of fleeting brilliance, the country vibe, and the hit-and-miss vocals proved a little too tiresome to appeal to this particular music junkie.

There are times when vocalist, Kurt Wagner's vocals veer into Leonard Cohen territory, and fail to do proper justice to the lush symphonies constructed around them, which makes the albums' failings all the more apparent.

Were it not for the heavy-hearted vocals, then it might have worked far better.

Sunrise, for instance, which gets No You C'Mon off to such a bright start, is a joyful, melody-laden affair, which provokes vivid memories of a perfect Summer's morning, but the aptly-named Low Ambition brings it down a notch, with the vocals largely to blame.

Fans of Cohen's vocal style, or who are used to Wagner's deep-throated strains, will, no doubt, think I'm crazy, but for me, they just get in the way, even when being offset, sweetly, by the female backing which permeates throughout (as in There's Still Time).

But my feelings were always proved right whenever Wagner stopped singing, as in the catchy Shang A Dand Dang (great name!), or Being Tyler, which gets Aw C'Mon off to such a good start.

One of the most striking things to emerge from the album, however, is that he decided to write the majority of the tracks on the basis of one per day, which is no mean feat given the quality of the music.

Each track possesses a rich and eclectic feel, which serve to create some sweeping, atmospheric and evocative soundscapes, depending on the writer's mood - which veer from deliriously happy, through sarcastic, to downright melancholic at times.

But try as hard as I could, I kept coming back to those vocals, which continued to grate the more I listened to them.

And when tracks such as Steve McQueen didn't feel cool enough, you know there is something wrong, particularly when others drift into piano lounge/hotel lobby style ballads, such as the long titled, Women Help To Create The Kind of Men They Despise.

The album also kept reminding me of the same quirky edge possessed by The Divine Comedy, which may be enough of a recommendation to most people.

I wanted to like this, but sometimes you can try too hard...

Track listing:
Disc: 1
1. Being Tyler
2. Four Pounds In Two Days
3. Steve Mcqueen
4. The Lone Official
5. Something’s Going On
6. Nothing But A Blur From A Bullet Train
7. Each Time I Bring It Up It Seems To Bring You Down
8. Timothy B Schmidt
9. Women Help Create The Kind Of Men They Despise
10. I Hate Candy
11. I Haven’t Heard A Word I’ve Said
12. Action Figure

Disc: 2
1. Sunrise
2. Low Ambition
3. There’s Still Time
4. Nothing Adventurous Please
5. The Problem
6. Shang A Dang Dang
7. About My Lighter
8. Under A Dream Of A Lie
9. Jan 24
10. The Gusher
11. Listen
12. The Producer

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