Friday, February 08, 2008

I just woke up from a fever dream which found me the owner of a wine bottle filled with a crystal clear liquid. Inside a half dozen, inch long, perfectly formed seals flipped slowly and buzzed around each other’s wet-suit smooth bodies. Watching the bottle filled me with a profound sense of peace, of happiness, and ownership of that peace. Nothing could take it back away from. Except, you know. Tylenol.

Belsapadore’s album, C’Mon Everyone Get Happy is like my dream bottle. Pretty to take in, a bit private, and endearing in a way that makes you want to listen multiple times.

Belsapadore began in 2003, when Justin Hoenke's other musical project Zomo decided to go on hiatus (now re-enlivened). With, C'mon, his latest album, Hoenke finds himself headed in a new direction -- creating big fat pop songs, unapologetically. Belsapadore is primarly a studio band, and C'mon's sound reflects that. There’s a lot going on, sonically, in his music –synths taking up the sound of xylophones, a thick drum beat - but Honeke’s production stays away from a Wall of Sound. Eveything is distinct, replicating a live show in both the looseness and the flow. The album's first track, “End of the World”, unwinds with a No Soul No Strain-era Wire Train feel to it -- that loose, relaxed, carefree vibe. Track 7, "Checkmate", meanwhile channels a 1950’s Supremes song through the sensibility of a indie cool kid. Amy Winehouse’s bedrugged body is no where to be found –this song with it’s heartfelt lyrics, is pure soul.

Drawbacks? Sure. Sometimes the recording of the vocals, especially on an otherwise stellar song “The Old Fools” (track #9) sounds a little too low-fi, muddy in some places, overdriven in others.

In the end, Honeke’s infectious style contains at its core an unfaltering sense of, well, fun, creating an album that sounds different (and better) than many other, glossier albums.

Belsapadore plays Seneca’s Brother Bean (2803 SR 257, Seneca, PA 16346 814-677-0232)this Saturday from 7-9 pm. No cover. A limited number of C’Mon Everyone get Happy will be sold for $1 as a special offer, so gather up those nickels. CheezusAKApeanut opens.

“End of the World”
“The Ballad of Haley Read”


Justin said...

Thanks for the Belsapadore love Mr. Dittman. Hope you're feeling better.

Anonymous said...

dreams are very intersting to look back on. "owner of a wine bottle", "crystal clear liquid", "seals", "smooth bodies", "profound sense of peace, of happiness, and ownership of that peace"
"pretty to take in", and "a bit private", this is really deep. by the date it is about a year old, ever tried to figure out what it meant?