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Seeds
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Tim Baker (vocals, guitar, piano, organ, percussion); Josh Ward (vocals, guitar, percussion); Romesh Thavanathan (vocals, cello, loops); Phil Maloney (vocals, drums, percussion); The Blake Sisters (throat singing); Uncle Bill Besso (spoken vocals); Adam Hogan (guitar, loops); Kinley Dowling (violin, viola); Ken Nogami, Jennifer Jones, Gina Burgess (violin); Susan Sayle (viola); Norman Adams (cello); Dave Christensen (flute, recorder, clarinet, saxophone); Kathy Conway (oboe); Terry Campbell (trumpet); Brigitte Labelle (French horn); Eric Landry (trombone).
  • Audio Mixers: Josh Ward ; Tim Baker ; Tony Doogan .
  • Recording information: Sing Sing Studios; The Sonic Temple.
  • Arrangers: Josh Ward ; Tim Baker ; Romesh Thavanathan; Adam Hogan; Phil Maloney.
  • Multi-layered, elegant, and well arranged, Seeds has it all, except for the hooks. That wouldn't be mandatory for an indie rock album with controls set toward Arcade Fire and Muse, but with Hey Rosetta!, their simple alt-rock roots still stick out from under the towering monuments of strings and ethereal keyboards, and they're not as gripping and immediate as they should be. It does feel like everything's in place, at first: the rhythm section plays fast, the guitars churn out the simple reverb- and delay-filled riffs that returned to the mainstream after Snow Patrol released Final Straw, and the wavering, down-to-earth vocals add just the right dose of intimacy to their generally positive sound. The band builds on this foundation quite a bit, going from droning, interlaced post-rock-like textures to cellos and violins (they even tour with a string section), not to mention squeezing a lot of development into four-minute tunes, which are in no way limited to the good old verse-chorus scheme. Perhaps they should have been: otherwise, the music, while dense enough, never reaches the larger-than-life grandeur of, say, the Twilight Sad (whom Hey Rosetta! recall at times), but doesn't deliver on the earworms the Snow Patrol tag promises, either. It's as if they really couldn't settle on one thing, going for epic one minute and catchy the other, while constantly changing the goal mid-air (or, sometimes, settling on soft indie pop by way of a breather). This does not make Seeds a bad album -- it's a clever and energetic slab of indie rock -- but it does add a frustrating edge to a generally pleasant experience. ~ Alexey Eremenko
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