The Faraway Places CD review [Eeenie Meenie]

Music Reviews
The Faraway Places CD review [Eeenie Meenie]
Feb 17, 2004, 03:24


The Faraway Places deftly avoid falling into any particular stylistic cubby hole ala “punk” or “pop” or “post-rock”… whatever. And yet they do have a distinctive oeuvre and particular aesthetic point to make.

Clearly they have a love of brightly hued tunes and a pronounced predilection for the breezy sounds once aired via AM radio in the long, long ago. They also possess an obvious penchant for utilizing theoretical methodologies, consciously applying different formulae to predicate respective songs, though usually their purpose is markedly playful. Within these guidelines, any and all styles are fair game for being sublimated to the peculiar and characteristic ends of this outfit.

“Marvelous Error” comes on all punky at first, but the spotlight shifts to a testy vocal melody and the defining moment of the song actually turns out to be a precipitous breakdown where everything goes quiet but for two keyboards plinking slyly interlocked lines, spelling out the organizing principles for the whole number. “Another Life” follows suit with each instrument isolated from the others and broadcasting its individual bit, yet each is cunningly arrayed to complement one another perfectly and it works like a bed of sonic wildflowers. “I Want More” is the sort of exercise in juxtaposing toy robo-beats and tunes that Chris Stamey used to excel at. The album ends with The Faraway Places' take on dream-pop. As with the rest of the tracks, it uses the genre's vocabulary to pursue its own eccentric ends—tinkering with the codes, setting different systems in place and in particular proximity to each other to see what proceeds from the interacting. This is smart-pop heaven! [Eeenie Meenie]

-Howard Wuelfing

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