Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Camera Obscura: My Maudlin Career

Artist: Camera Obscura
Album: My Maudlin Career
Date Released: April 21, 2009
Genre: indie pop
Rating: 8.3

My Maudlin Career is the fourth full-length studio album from Glasgow’s Camera Obscura, a 4AD records release. Confronted by the delightful artwork, I couldn’t wait to give this record a spin.

Kicking straight in with latest single “French navy”, My Maudlin Career's intricate sing-along melodies and smooth flow immediately sets a high standard -- and an indication of good things to come. “French Navy” is not a groundbreaking single by any means, but it holds a presence that many similar bands lack in comparison.

“You Told A Lie” is undoubtedly the album's standout track; its cuteness and swaying rhythms capture the subtle spirit of Camera Obscura. Its bold message indicates that this band is setting their standards a touch higher. Its opening lyrics are sung beautifully by Tracyanne Campbell:

If you were a season you would be in bloom
I wish I had good reason to see you soon
No need to convince me that you’re a catch

With the sound of “You Told A Lie” found somewhere between The Coral and Electric Light Orchestra, this track is full of heart and real substance, a perfect reflection of the aura that surrounds My Maudlin Career.

Towards the end of the album, the terrific “Forests And Sands” is an immediate attention grabber with its rattling percussion and loveable lyrics. Its high-pitched streams of melody shower over the song as the listener becomes increasingly aware of the glistening production put to use on this album. This track takes the listener to places reminiscent of the work on Interpol’s Our Love To Admire.

On the surface, one would imagine that this album's charm lies solely within the power of its many terrific indie-gems, but this record plays as an artistic whole, carrying the listener through a memorable journey of 1960's Spector-pop/shoegaze crossover.

My Maudlin Career flows like a soundtrack, a carefully crafted collection of gleaming songs sometimes delivered with a slight wistful edge. A perfect album to remind you of a sunny holiday or the impact of a new friend. Such a pleasant listen.

Reviewed by Leigh Padley.

1 comment:

  1. These are one of the best bands Scotland has ever produced - and that's no small thing. This album and their previous,"Let's get Out of this Country",
    are among the finest albums of the last five years.
    Beautiful songwriting matched by superlative musicianship.