The Red Alert
The Red Alert

The Gifted Children

My Museum Pieces

(Tinhorn Planet)

Record Review by Amber Henson


The Gifted Children might be the most prolific band of all time (  Sure, The Beatles wrote a lot, but the band released NINE albums last year.  Half of those are EPs, but included in that smorgasbord was My Museum Pieces, a short LP (less than half an hour) but full of fun, melody, and space-age synths.


There are major songs on the album, and others that serve more as intros and outros.  The longer songs are the ones that I’m able to get into, especially track five, called “You Smashing Young Prince!”  There were fifteen contributors to this album, and it seems they all sing in this song.  The feel of the song reminded me of Rilo Kiley, back when they were young and crazy.


Pam Swarts, the vocalist I enjoyed so much on the last album of theirs I reviewed (Whitespace Differences) is back on a few tracks and still enjoyable.  And Jeff Suszczynski is doing his thing on a variety of instruments, including bowed saws, drum machines, and vocoders.  He clearly has creativity pouring out of his ears, and it's fun to live in that creativity, no matter how short.


I’ll admit that I like the more traditional, less experimental songs on the album, but there really is something for everyone here.  Some of the songs come across as a bit amateurish, but when a band puts out nine albums in one year, it’s clear they’re not going to be polishing every last one.  But this isn’t really a case of quantity over quality, there’s an element of improvisation and curiosity that links the tracks with one another.


The last track, “Across the Plains,” is a very relaxing and pleasing song.  It starts with some simple acoustic guitar strumming which builds to a full song with piano, and eventually vocals, simply repeating the title.  It’s a great way to end this eclectic and inventive album.



The Gifted Children - Whitespace Differences


More by this writer:

El Perro del Mar - Live - March 3, 2010

the breakups - Interview

Joshua James - Build Me This

White Rabbits - Live - Nov. 2, 2009