November 9, 2011
Woman - Cuckoo Chaos
Review Written by Les Davis
From the moment I hit play on ‘Jesus Flag American Fish’ - the opening track of the San Diego five-piece's debut album - I was sent right back to Paul Simon’s 1986 seminal album ‘Graceland’ as not only is the vocal styling very reminiscent of Simon himself, there is also a real South African feel to this, along with subsequent tracks, ‘Healthy Ghost’ and ‘Just Ride It’. The lovely guitar overlays coming in with smooth vocals fill the very nicely paced spaces in the music.
Although the mood remains buoyant and playful throughout, early on, you already get the feeling that there is perhaps too much of a ‘sameness’ to many of the songs and the opening numbers already mentioned perhaps lack those traces of individual personality to tell them apart from each other – I don’t necessarily mean this as a bad thing: as the energy of the music grows I really felt like turning cartwheels along a beach with lots of African children running alongside me smiling and laughing.
‘Bad Bad Man’ steps things up a beat with the tone of this number encapsulating more of the general theme and playfulness of the album as the song explores the story of the run-around game of courtship ending with a lovely ballad that is like a sweet goodbye as you sail off leaving your loved one on the harbour with found memories and wishing you to return.
The album is a playful courting theme and although is light and upbeat, it really does not challenge any concepts, but I really don’t think that this is their goal as they openly cite the aforementioned Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’ and the work of Talking Heads as two key influences thus opening themselves up to those comparisons. Happy, upbeat and feel-good on a sunny day describes this album best but after a number of listens it does get a bit repetitive for me but I’ll definitely be keeping it in my playlist for another while yet.