Just downloaded Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros album Up from Below. There are few great tunes on the albulm. My personal favorite is track 6, Home. Check it out on Youtube.
(Music Review from http://www.cougarmicrobes.com/)
It feels like for the past few weeks I have joined my own cult group devoted to producing heartfelt psychedelic pop music. It all started when I was sent Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros‘ debut album ‘Up From Below‘…
Initially I was suspicious of how close the band came to capturing Kesey and co.’s aura. Everything from the bohemian clothes, the commune mentality and the dated album cover could be dismissed as part of some new ‘hippie-ster’ fad. The band even travel on a converted silver bus! Ultimately I kept retuning to the sheer magnetism of the songs and that is all that mattered.
The album is an epic journey emphasising love, peace and a sense of community whilst introducing an array of instruments including trumpets, xylophones, harmonicas, accordions, pianos and tons of percussions and whistles. Elements of The Mamas & The Papas, Buffalo Springfield, some Johny Cash and June Carter as well as recent releases by the likes of Elvis Perkins, The Arcade Fire and successive Conor Oberst projects spring to mind . In the hands of a lesser band this 60s and 70s influenced music could be perceived as insincere but with The Magnetic Zeros it remains genuine and fresh.
From the opening claps and stomps of first single ‘40 Day Dream‘ I know I had stumbled over something quite special. Indeed, the first half of the album is crammed with single material ranging from the fairytail-esque ‘Janglin‘ to the euphoric title track ‘Up From Below’ right through to the uplifting gospel tinged ‘Carries On‘.The name Jade is referenced throughout the album as she represents a muse of sorts for the ensemble. Her vocals and subtle melodic emphasis provide many of the best moments so it is a pity that the track bearing her name is the weakest on the album. This is rectified very quickly as Jade herself goes on to lead the standout track, ‘Home‘, . Its tongue-in-cheek delivery and deliberately syrupy lyrics can’t camouflage the breathtaking melody and genuine sense of the protagonists’ love.
After the emotional and musical peak of ‘Home‘ the band reveal a reflective side in the second half of the album. There is still room for ‘I Come In Please’ with its rolling daydream melody and trippy qualities but the likes of ‘Desert Song’, ‘Black Water’, ‘Simplest Love’, ‘Brother‘ and ‘Kisses Over Babylon’ (sung in Spanish) aim to be both brooding and epic. The sparse arrangements of these tracks and their cinematic delivery further highlight how talented this ensemble really are.
Album closer ‘Om Nashi Me’ is the perfect footnote for this adventure. The track reiterates many of the underlying themes that appear throughout the album and its amazing trumpet lead and mass chants will remain with you hours after its last note has rung.
Top notch musicianship, stellar songwriting and heartfelt singing make this a truly amazing aural experience and in my books ‘Up From Below‘ is already a nominee for album of the year.
Now to see them live…