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Via Audio - Animalore Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.25
Musicianship 8.75
Lyrics 7.5
Production 9
Creativity 9
Lasting Value 8.75
Reviewer Tilt 9
Final Verdict: 86%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.38
Musicianship 8.75
Lyrics 7.75
Production 8.63
Creativity 9.13
Lasting Value 9
Reviewer Tilt 8.88
Average: 86%
Inside AP.net

Via Audio - Animalore

Reviewed by: Gregory Robson (03/01/10)
Via Audio - Animalore
Record Label: Undertow Music
Release Date: March 9, 2010

Leave it to the four Brooklyn transplants in Via Audio to craft a zany, zest-laden disc like Animalore. At its core its gnomic keyboard pop with a touch of ambience and disco. Sure there's a slight nod to electronica, a slight nod to 60s California pop, but in the end, it's keyboard-laden pop. And hot damn, it is good.

After the success of their debut record Say Something, which garnered positive reviews from a number of publications, including this very site, the Berklee-trained quartet once again partnered with Spoon's Jim Eno to craft this most auspicious follow-up. Whether it is the wizardry of Eno or just the mark of a band that is leaps and bounds above the competition, Animalore takes the momentum of Say Something and pushes forward with unwavering confidence.

Jessica Martins' light vocal touch is a true delight. Supple, simple and the antithesis of strident, there's an understated, amiable quality about her inflections and intonations that's incredibly pleasant. For much of the disc she's aided on harmonies and some verses by guitarist Tom Deis, whose woody timbre is a perfect compliment to her controlled subtlety. Both of them overcome their limitations and meld effortlessly with an air-tight rhythm section.

The end result is this expertly-crafted, inoffensive, hook-laden pop. Though it gets a bit silly in places, the core of this disc is far too good to pass up. Take for example, the mid-tempo R & B groove of "Babies," a sultry, seductive and sensual number that coasts along like a tropical breeze. Sure the band sounds a bit lame singing the line, "I just want to make babies with you," but the refrain is so strong and the hook is too good to turn away.

Another mildly inane number is the infectious and intricate "Lizard," which allows Deis to take to the mic on a song that comes across more like a fairy tale than that of an earnest, indie gem. And yet for all their dopey shenanigans, there's plenty of gravity between the lines. Case and point of said gravity is the quirky soul-infused charmer "Goldrush," and the intimate narrative, "Olga," both of which live on long after the disc ends. Whereas the former is organic, eccentric and undeniably authentic, the latter is bare, simple and deeply moving.

The album's strongest two songs, "Summer Stars," a vernal ode to nostalgia, and "Happening," an ethereal warning about fate, push the silliness to the back and allow Martins to take center stage. With a deftness that only she can provide, both cuts are rich, probing and proof positive of this band's seemingly limitless potential. Just two discs in, Via Audio are standing firmly on a pedestal far away from the competition. Even at their worst, they're still doing things most people wouldn't take a chance on. And that very fact is why they won't be a secret for long.

Track Listing 1. Hello
2. Goldrush
3. Babies
4. Tigers
5. Digital
6. Wanted
7. Too Quiet
8. Lizard
9. Summer Stars
10. Oh Blah Wee
11. Olga
12 Happening


Via Audio is Jessica Martins: Keyboards, guitars, and vocals
David Lizmi: bass guitar
Tom Deis: Guitar, vocals
Adam Sturtevant: drums


Recommended If You Like The Postal Service, Rilo Kiley, The Rosebuds, Architecture in Helsinki


Find Them Here Myspace
Website
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 19
05:41 AM on 03/01/10
#2
sofaraway
We're so far away.
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I love this band. Good review, can't wait to listen to it!
06:20 AM on 03/01/10
#3
CatalinaCaper
Stay Classy, San Diego
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Love the album artwork. Might buy the LP just for that reason.
07:02 AM on 03/01/10
#4
Meeze
PunkOut.org
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awesome review
07:19 AM on 03/01/10
#5
And Hours Pass
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
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Hmmm.. this is intriguing! I know this is such a nitpicky question, but would you say this is more RIYL Postal, or RIYL AIH? I'll probably check it out either way, but I'm far more enthused by the Postal/Rilo RIYL than Architecture in Helsinki.

By the by, this paragraph:

Quote:
Jessica Martins' light vocal touch is a true delight. Supple, simple and the antithesis of strident, there's an understated, amiable quality about her inflections and intonations that's incredibly pleasant. For much of the disc she's aided on harmonies and some verses by guitarist Tom Deis, whose woody timbre is a perfect compliment to her controlled subtlety. Both of them overcome their limitations and meld effortlessly with an air-tight rhythm section.

poetic. I really enjoyed it.
07:21 AM on 03/01/10
#6
MattDennis
(Yeah)
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Really good review. This is one of my favorite albums so far in 2010. It has so much more personality than Say Something did. I can't get "Tigers" out of my head.
07:37 AM on 03/01/10
#7
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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Hmmm.. this is intriguing! I know this is such a nitpicky question, but would you say this is more RIYL Postal, or RIYL AIH? I'll probably check it out either way, but I'm far more enthused by the Postal/Rilo RIYL than Architecture in Helsinki.

By the by, this paragraph:



poetic. I really enjoyed it.
Probably more AIH or Rosebuds than anything. Postal Service is just the veneer of keyboard pop, it's a light reference really.
08:03 AM on 03/01/10
#8
songydarko
..
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Adore this album.
08:09 AM on 03/01/10
#9
live.
Feenay! Fee hee hee hee heenay!
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live.'s Avatar
Wow! Had no idea they had another album in the works. Soooo pumped.
09:28 AM on 03/01/10
inthemidst
Grace and Peace
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Gregory! Feels like it's been a year since your last review, but it's only been a couple weeks haha. This is a good one.
10:29 AM on 03/01/10
underthetalking
La Marea Roja
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Great review. Just played a show with these guys on Saturday. Very nice people making very nice music.
10:40 AM on 03/01/10
Cliff Diver
Uncle Jesse
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I approve of this review.
10:42 AM on 03/01/10
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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Gregory! Feels like it's been a year since your last review, but it's only been a couple weeks haha. This is a good one.
Was recovering from surgery. Thanks for noticing my absence. Much appreciated. Cheers, mate
10:51 AM on 03/01/10
inthemidst
Grace and Peace
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Was recovering from surgery. Thanks for noticing my absence. Much appreciated. Cheers, mate
Glad to hear everything is alright. It's good to have you back.
11:16 AM on 03/01/10
thehereaway
snickers at the swine flu
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Will have too check this out further.
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