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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Ears Will Pop and Eyes Will Blink
Artist: Bodies of Water
Label: Thousand Tongues
Here is my nominee for the
most unique record of 2007. Indie rockers doing gospel, combined with a
'70's Godspell feel at times, punk rock and folk at others. Bodies of Water
are somewhere in the same neighborhood as Half-Handed Cloud, Danielson
Famile, and Sufjan Stevens, but I suspect they reside in an out of the
way loft in a forgotten alley of that
"Our Friends Appear Like the Dawn" mixes Sufjan with Arcade Fire sounds, if either of those artists featured a female lead vocalist. "These Are the Days" surreally moves between Polyphronic Spree combined with a slighly demented children's choir, but featuring David Bowie-like vocals from David Metcalf. "It Moves" features a chorus that is simply belted out over a Doors soundtrack.
There are interludes of this disc that will draw you into thinking there is musical genius here, but there are also those moments of "I'm just a wee bit disturbed". There is no question that the lyrics are designed to honor God, but I almost feel as if I need subtitles at certain points to gain insight into where the writers are coming from - they are just oblique enough to confuse, and just revealing enough to provoke thought - sort of like reading Revelation for the first time.
The themes here are of struggle and joy, and a hope for understanding. Perhaps it's apt that I feel the same way about many of the songs here. I have a sneaking suspicion this disc may grow on me with a few more listens.
Brian A. Smith