Thursday, May 13, 2010

EXPO - She Sells Seashells

For the past week I have been binge listening to a record that brings some long-awaited new life into a genre of music that is probably too difficult for most musicians to ever want to take on. I'm referring to the genre called "Orchestral Pop". EXPO has made an album worthy of comparison to some of the greatest pop albums of the last decade (or maybe 4 decades). I'm telling you, this album compares to some of the best albums by Sean O'Hagan of the High Llamas or Jason MacIsaac and The Heavy Blinkers.

There is a certain beauty and skill needed to create a perfect pop song, and EXPO's chief song writer John Lane proves that he has the chops time and time again to create incredible songs throughout the 13 tracks on the album. And what great songs they are! I was so happy to hear the huge variety of instruments used on this album and the great percussion sounds too. It's so impressive to hear the difficult rhythm patterns in Good Good News and Out of The Millions.

Maybe the only real weakness to the album is the lack of any one clear lead singer or set of singers. Almost every track has a different singer or group of singers who collaborated with John Lane for the album which makes me think either John has no confidence in his own voice, or maybe he really is just good enough to know that his voice doesn't fit. Luckily though, he chose some of the best singers he could to feature on the album - my favorite being Christian Lipski who sang on the song Katy Why (the album's first single track and a fantastic pop song).

Despite the varied singing on the album it is clear that each song belongs together and each track flows together nicely as well. The production value of the album is also top notch. When making an orchestral pop album so many things can go wrong, but She Sells Seashells not only does everything right, it does everything perfectly. For an instant classic, feel free to check out She Sells Seashells right here:

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