The Whitsundays self titled Album Review

Originally written in 2008

Two bands that are commonly referenced to The Whitsundays are The Kinks and The Zombies.  They attempt to bring new life to this classic sound with a modern indie approach similar to Apples in Stereo, Belle & Sebastian and The Delfields.  The Whitsundays self titled debut album doesn’t break any new ground.  The song’s themselves are straightforward and well constructed melodies, obviously influenced by ‘60s pop.  It’s very generic, non offensive music that would do well on the radio.  Unfortunately, the vocals can be somewhat dull.  While it works well within the given genre, I can’t help but wish for more emphasis.  Speaking of emphasis, it’s not just the vocals but the entire band.  They really lack energy, and sound like they would feel at home playing in a lounge.  The lyrics are adequate, but nothing to write h…

Upon listening to the album it’s apparent that much of the sound comes from lead singer Paul Arnusch.  If your familiar with Paul’s two other bands, it will sound different than you might expect.  By comparison, The Whitsundays sound is quite refreshing.  The album has a clean, dreamy, poppy sound drenched in reverb.  Gone are the new wave punk sounds of The Floor and the post-rock sounds of Faunts.  While it may be a departure from his others works, his intricately layered sound and experimentation isn’t.

The chorus to the third track I Want it All made me want to stop listening to the album altogether.  The album gets better half way through and I definitely enjoyed the direction their sound took on the final few tracks of the album.  My favorite song is Already Gone which sounds like something out of a Tarantino film.  Bring It On Home is also an interesting track.  I found the opening to be fairly reminiscent of early Radiohead and I especially loved the use of the Saxophone.  The final track Whitsunday Morning Theme is a beautiful instrumental melody that gracefully ends the album and really made me want to give the album another listen.

I wasn’t captured at first, and at times I even disliked what I heard.  But on subsequent listens, their infectious sound finally wormed its way into my heart.  I even found myself humming one of their songs and actually wanting to listen to the album outside of writing this review.  As someone who is not a fan of the genre, I think that says a lot.

Score: 6.0

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Dave Loft

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