"Stop Looking at Me Swan!"

Another guest review, this one from Jeff Krause of the85bears. Jeff is a fantastic musician, regular contributor to antimusic.com, and al around nice guy. Despite his love of all things Chicago, he is secretly rooting for the Flyers, though he’d never admit it.

Oh… and check out a free track from Trumpeter Swan here

Trumpeter Swan – Listen For The Clues

After leaving What Made Milwaukee Famous in 2008, Drew Patrizi, the driving force behind Trumpeter Swan, self-released an album of 12 tracks of indie pop goodness that pleases, but also leaves some room for improvement.

It’s obvious that this Brooklyn transplant, originally from Austin, Texas, has a wide range of influences that he draws from. “Listen for the Clues” seems to cover it all; the pop-laden catchy hook of opener “Loose Lips”, to the new wave feel of “Acolyte”, to the more solemn “Sirens and Bells”. It wouldn’t be out of place for the listener to recognize glimpses of Sufjan, The Postal Service, Polyphonic Spree (not unlikely, since Matt Bricker contributes to a few tracks), and even some old school Pet Shop Boys flavor.

Most of the album is pretty easy on the ears, and the writing, for a pop album, is above average. What it lacks, however, is a bit of continuity. Parts of the album, especially the latter-half, seem more thrown together and less cohesive than the first half. Perhaps what the songwriting lacks is the collective group effort, where hired guns aren’t simply playing along, but rather toiling over the songs and pouring their creative energy into them more directly. It seems that with some of the material here, the songs are being filled in with instrumentation simply because they’re supposed to. For as catchy as some of it can be, it lacks the depth that is evident when one really puts their heart into a collection of songs.

Even still, though, this album is a better-than-average indie pop album. And being that Drew has opened for acts like The National, Smashing Pumpkins, and Arcade Fire, played fests like Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, and manned the only unsigned band to ever grace the stage of Austin City Limits, it’s obvious that, for a first solo effort, this is a step in the right direction.

7 out of 10.

~ by thepaintedman on June 3, 2010.

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