Saturday, May 21, 2011

AJ's Debut


This Is What The City Will Sound Like When All The People Are Gone

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The voluminous title of former Handshake member Andrew Campbell’s debut album couldn’t suit the music found here better. While the music here has a strong sense of isolation and loneliness, there’s also some hustle and bustle in the background, almost like the ghosts of the people who once inhabited Campbell’s one-man city. This balance is only one of many factors that make What The City Will Sound Like remarkable. Another is the sheer intricacy and complexity of these songs, especially considering they are the products of an eighteen-year-old high school senior (albeit one whose voice sounds twice that age) playing every instrument himself. It’s easy to see Campbell has been taking some music theory classes--these are fairly straightforward folk-rock songs on the surface, but jazz chords and subtle time-signature changes abound. While the last two songs do not have the same abundance of brilliant musical ideas as songs like the Four Tet-gone-folk intro “Feather,” this album is nonetheless engaging, both mentally and emotionally.

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