Anathallo – Canopy Glow Review

I think i’ve fallen in love with this album, much like i did with floating world – but this one just leaves some sort of resonate beauty in the air surrounding my speakers. I received this in the mail today, pre-ordered of course and i watched as my girlfriend stole it from me and opened it so i wouldn’t be overun with excitement, alas it was handed to me and it graced my eager hands begging to be opened and played.

Overall, this album plays like a journey through life, and if time permits ill have a bit of an interpretation up in a few weeks. The recurring themes of birth, lifes experiences, ageing and death seem to peek through the songs lyrical content as they’re intertwined with wonderfully crafted melodies and harmonized vocals. But then again, what more would you expect form Anathallo? On this, their sophomore effort, they have opted for tighter song structures as opposed to the sparceness and general complexity of Floating World (not that that was a bad thing!). This focused song writing is however a blessing and holds the record with much more restraint and allows it to ebb and flow effortlessly.

I’m going to review the songs individually as i don’t want you to miss out on any of the juicy bits this album presents the listener with.

Noni’s Field – The album kicks off with shakers and an upbeat intro track. This song has been around for agggges but still gives me shivers of joy each time i listen to it. Anathallo trademark vocal harmonies are abundant surrounding a prominent piano, hand claps and warm fuzzy bass frollicking around the mix. The song is pure bliss (given the theme is detah) and ends with beautiful string arrangements. (9.5/10)

Italo – Italo has this irresistable charm to it. Erica’s vocals lift up and bound with pace. It’s a genuine sing-a-long track that while jumping and electric it is oceanic in stature. I think they use bricks rubbed against each other in this? Almost as pretentious as the velcro they used in Floating World – but it works, so well. I needn’t say more. (10/10)

Northern Lights – Ushered in by the engine of a church organ and what appears to be shuffling feet this would have to be the most beautiful song on the record. Half way through, when everything stops, and the delicate bells are tinging in your ears is one of those moments that just make you sit back and reflect, on everything that you’ve ever experienced. I’ve been trying to pinpoint a nice phrase for this epiphanic point – all i can say is my heart stops. Amazing. (10/10)

The River – The lead single fromt he album and it is one of the most catchy and growing songs on the cd. The good thing about Anathallo is there is always somethign to discover on each listen. It is truly a headphones album. So how is this song? It’s singable, it’s danceable, it’s a cacophony of pianos, strings, horns and a myriad of intriguing instruments that guide you to wonderful places. (10/10)

Cafetorium – From what i can gather a biblically influenced song. I’ve heard that Anathallo’s religious roots turn a lot of people off which i think is very unfortunate. Their ability to tell a story, a religious one at that and incorporate it into their own unique style is amazing and should not be overlooked, and this is no exception. (9/10)

Sleeping Torpor – Another delicate song, Erica’s voice gives you the impression that if you drop her she’d break, and this is what i like about her vocals on this album. This track would to me best fit somewhere on Floating World – it has the odd and burstly horn sections, slow burning tempo and distinct querkiness. In the context of this record it fits perfectly in the middle and gives the listener a break before entering the second half. (8.5/10)

All The First Pages – A masterpiece. This is my favourite track, although it is very hard to choose one. The way this song constructs denoument is entirely what makes it. The first half is dedicated to building a foundation block that lifts the second half of the song into the stratisphere – sweeping strings and perfect vocal harmonies drag you in and don’t let you go. The percussion is what holds it all together though, showcased well on this track. (10/10)

John J. Audobon – Once again we are treated to the exubrant playfulness that Anathallo is known for. Backing vocals carry themselves behind the leads flowing and discordant lyrics to make for an ec lectic and engaging song. (9/10)

Bells – This song is quite a concept, it is built entirely from hand bells found in the church where the band played and practiced in Chicago. I get the feeling the song is about ageing and losing your mind, losing sanity and about the diminishment of memory. It is sad, and brooding, harrowing even – but i wonderful observation of the challenges life throws us. (9/10)

Tower of Babel – The album finishes with a gentle, calming and sombre affair. It is a song that engages throughout and even gets me singing from time to time. I think it was th eperfect way to close this album – it is dark and contemplative – what the album seems to posess as a whole – and it is done to perfection. (10/10)

Overall Score: 93/100

Comments
2 Responses to “Anathallo – Canopy Glow Review”
  1. The Captain says:

    I love this album. Check out my review at captainmelody.com and let me know if you want to exchange links.

  2. Chris says:

    Thanks for your comment on my post. I checked this album out after seeing so much about it on the blogs and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. If you don’t mind, I’ll put up your blog on my blogroll.

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