Friday, May 11, 2007

The Clientele - "God Save the Clientele"

For the first time in a long time, I leaned over and pressed play when this album finished so I could hear it all again.

It's just a beautiful record and like Feist's The Reminder, this is a follow-up which follows the template of previous works (namely 2005's Strange Geometry) while deepening and enriching the songwriting and musicianship.

There are great little textures here as well. Like on "I Hope I Know You" the vocals seem to come in on the up rather than down beat. On instrumental "The Dance of the Hours," guitars and piano chime over an insistent drum beat and the background whispers of the band.

I was concerned that "Bookshop Casanova" meant that the Clientele were trying to go for a new guitar pop sound, with Beatle guitars and Beatle lyric references ("you've got my name, look up the number"). But on God Save the Clientle, you find instead the same contemplative Simon&Garfunkely electric folk that places them somewhere in the vicinity of bands like the Kings of Convenience, the Kingsbury Manx, and early Belle & Sebastian while still maintaining their own light, gliding sense of the everyday and the bitter sweet.