I already knew this week would bring little in the way of quality new releases, but I expected more from a couple fairly familiar names. When I heard that Charlie Hunter was putting out a new album, I was stoked, but since sampling most of it, I found it was a little too jazzy and mellow, with not enough melody for where my ears were, this week. I had also thought that Stephen Marley’s fresh material would show-off the skills of one of the most talented of Bob Marley’s children, but it seemed to showcase so many other artists, that it kind of felt like Stephen got lost in the mix. However, two acts I didn’t know before did make a good argument for a review. Conveyor’s “Ready Not Ready” had a few impressive tracks, but The Amazing from Sweden seemed to offer something new, but vaguely familiar. The alternative quintet released their fourth full-length album “Ambulance”, yesterday.
The album opener, is also the title track, “Ambulance”, which settles into what seems like a millennial Roxy Music. It feels like a night under an expanse of tiny glowing lights, which is how Bryan Ferry’s voice has always made me feel.
“Divide” has a flavor that tastes early 90’s alternative, and isn’t catchy, but it is pleasant.
The vibe of “Blair Drager” is one that couples modern jazz backbeats with something more alternative, like a younger sounding Leonard Cohen, with a whisper of a singing voice.
“Tracks” creates a melodic landscape for the imagination to explore, as the music morphs gradually and organically into something reminiscent of War On Drugs. A tremendous instrumental piece.
The earthy roots of the steel guitar help to give “Floating” an energy like it was born into an early 90’s alternative scene. Probably one of the best songs on the album.
“Through City Lights” is a bit of a dreamy alternative rock tune, softened by some acoustic goodness. Unfortunately, though the song is good, it isn’t great due to the unnecessary length and repetition of the same lines during the second half of the tune.
“Moments Like These” is like a fantastic pairing of sounds similar to both Bon Iver and Field Report. It is like sitting on a hill where the world gives you 360 degree views of all she has to offer. This was the cut that most lured me to checking out the Swedish quintet.
The Bon Iver vibe sticks around on “Perfect Day For Shirmp” with an aura like an acoustic morning mist and the fog of the night before. The production on this track felt intuitive and it worked out well with the alternative singer/songwriter approach.
I won’t lie and say that “Ambulance” by Sweden’s The Amazing, was just that, but it certainly wasn’t bad, either. On their fourth full-length album the band makes music that is quite pleasant to hear, but not overly compelling to listen to. In other-words, I could put it on heavy rotation and it would take awhile for me to get sick of it, but I am also not sure how much of my attention I would devote to the music on “Ambulance”. Fans of Roxy Music, Bon Iver and War On Drugs, may dig the sounds of The Amazing. That’s What I Know, So That’s What You Know!! Enjoy!!
HAPPY LISTENING!!!! 😉