For Those Into Creativity
Well, two major-label dinosaurs very dear to me released albums this year. And I was really excited. So it means something when I say that Acupuncture is my favourite album of 2009. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that this is one of the most interesting and ambitious rock albums of the decade.
When I think of lo-fi, stereotypes creep up - it's got to be noisy, amelodic, and monochrome. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but it's important to note that Souvenirs From Fiji is very far from that. Well, it's noisy. But other than that, it's an exceptionally diverse pop record. It just so happens that Jeff Cancade is a very clever songwriter, for whom melody seems to come first. Or maybe the lyrics do. Who knows - they are both so strong on this album. There are verses and choruses and sexy-as-hell refrains and they all weave around forests of In Utero-inspired, feedback-laden riffage. There are quirky vocal lines, steel drums, tropical marimbas. There is a distinctive and highly effective voice and strong, often unorthodox, musicianship. Everything is memorable, hummable, and, of course, enviable.
Every track is on its own a highlight, but, in my opinion, the most powerful moments include the Big Slick refrain, the ironically wicked verse-chorus contrasts in -1 Goblin Hugs, the cunning chord progression in Epic Fail, and the melodic grooves in Erotic Cinema. The truly eerily sublime piece is The Artisan - one of the most gorgeous songs I've ever heard.
This record is brand spanking new and I hope it gets all the recognition it deserves over the coming months and years. And that is a shitload of recognition.