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CD Review: Mister Heavenly

Published: Thursday, August 18, 2011

Updated: Thursday, August 18, 2011 13:08

Mister Heavenly

Jacqueline Di Milia

Mister Heavenly

Mister Heavenly

Out of Love

(Sub Pop)

Grade: B+ 

 

Three guys walk into a recording studio. One is the frontman of Man Man. The other is the drummer for Modest Mouse and The Shins. And the last one is Canadian frontman of Islands and four other indie projects. While this "super group" set up is usually leading to some punch line, there's nothing funny about this power group, at least not unintentionally humorous.

Dubbing their sound called "doom wap," there's certainly a darker, ruder side of doo wap harmonies interspersed with modern mutations of multiple genres. Perhaps the most obvious doom wap transformation being the juxtaposition of the sad, indie-fied "Your Girl" and upbeat sweet confidence of the Temptations' "My Girl."

It's hard to describe the album's vibe outside of an indie smorgasbord. Every track is charming for a different reason. "Diddy Eyes" is a song that blends Beach Boys and Bowie influences. "Reggae Pie" is as it sounds – subbing the Jamaican drawls for nasally and gravelly (in the case of Honus Honus) vocals with an ironically less laid back musical arrangement. "Mister Heavenly" is a '50s-style arrangement that also reminds of Arctic Monkeys. "Charlyne" is a throw back piano-driven lament with surf guitar over it. "Hold My Hand" is a big band croon number that can't help but ask to be compared to the slightly sweeter Beatles' "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," not unlike the Temptations comment earlier.

It isn't fair to call any of these unique numbers a standout. So, maybe we'll just say the most enjoyable listening comes from "Pineapple Girl," "Bronx Sniper," "Reggae Pie," "Diddy Eyes."

The fine lines and blurred decades of sound in Out of Love make for a decadent, albeit strange track listing not so unlike the outcome of staring at the fridge on leftover night; surprisingly good combinations.

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