Record Review by Amber Henson
While the rest of us are out there living our lives, listening to indie punk bands, assuming that the '60s are long dead, The Whitsundays have been carefully, quietly preparing us for a comeback of the decade when real music was born. They’ve busted out their Wurlitzers and made sure the vocals are minor but the guitar chords major. They’ve written an entire song about James Bond. And they’ve done their homework, too.
The song that attracted me to the band is called “I Want It All”. It reminds me of a breakup song, although the chorus is “But you’ve come to make me happy, once again.” Lead singer Paul Arnusch sings it in such a manner where he sounds like he’s being sarcastic about all relationships.
The next song on the album, “It Must Be Me,” sounds like a lost track of the Beach Boys’ Smile. There are a lot of voices, echoes, and organs. “If it’s not you, it must be me,” sings Arnusch in his washed out voice, while having a good time with his tambourine.
The James Bond song mentioned earlier, titled “Sorry James,” is instantly recognizable as a throwback to the era, and sounds like the Austin Powers soundtrack. My favorite part of this song is that Arnusch, being Canadian, sings it “Sow-ry James”.
The best chorus lyrics on this album probably belong to the song “Already Gone”, which are: ““How can I pretend like you’re the only one I love, when all my love’s already gone?”
Of course when bands try to sound like a different decade, there’s always that fine line between ‘are they basically a tribute band?’ or ‘do they play their own stuff?’ And although I do feel like they get dangerously close to that line, they do a good job of writing music that doesn’t seem totally copied or completely outdated. So, seeing as how it’s 2008, 40 years after the tumultuous year of 1968, and we seem to be not too far off from many of the problems that plagued us then, why don’t you buy this record, burn some incense, turn off all the lights, and listen to this ‘LP’ from start to finish while thinking about the world?
More by this writer:
The Thrills - Teenager
Jeremy Messersmith - The Alcatraz Kid
Rio en Medio - Bride of Dynamite
The Hourly Radio - History Will Never Hold Me