(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

These Were (2004) , 6.5/10
The Enemy Chorus (2007) , 5.5/10

Earlies (a multinational quartet of Britons and Texans) specialize in painstakingly-crafted pop-psychedelic electronica, somewhat reminiscent of Manitoba. These Were (Secretly Canadian, 2004) collected their early EPs and singles. If the catchy One Of Us Is Dead sounds like a remix of subtly disguised Beatles stereotypes, the more adventurous Wayward Song sounds like Brian Eno remixing the Beach Boys. The most creative songs are actually in the middle. Morning Wonder beats the maestro of meta-music at his own game, overlapping insistent bluesy guitar, electronic beats and trippy vocal harmonies. The Devil's Country concocts a majestic soup of symphonic rock, pow-wow and free jazz. The arrangements represent the state of the art in orchestral pop music, peaking with the pastoral chamber music of the instrumental Slow Man's Dream.

However, the Earlies' first proper album, The Enemy Chorus (Secretly Canadian, 2007), was a disappointment. Their orchestral pop (performed by a chamber group of 15 musicians) sounded much more derivative and less catchy, although more texturally elaborate via electronic beats, string sections and horn sections, like a mainstream version of the Flaming Lips filtered through the baroque productions of the "techno-pop" of the 1970s (Alan Parsons, Electric Light Orchestra). Most songs fell into the category of generic radio-friendly muzak (No Love in Your Heart, When the Wind Blows, The Ground We Walk On, Foundation and Earth). The notable exception (the instrumental Gone for the Most Part) boasted the production eccentricity of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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