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Sherwood - A Different Light (Cover Artwork)

Sherwood

Sherwood: A Different LightA Different Light (2007)
MySpace Records

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: DreuxDreux
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Remind me to send a thank-you note to Ben Gibbard. I could be wrong, but I'm guessing he's had something to do with the proliferation of mellow, vibe-tone sequencing amongst bands like Sherwood. I could be wrong, though, and I'm not sure if I'm being sarcastic. A Different Light sees the recen.
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Remind me to send a thank-you note to Ben Gibbard. I could be wrong, but I'm guessing he's had something to do with the proliferation of mellow, vibe-tone sequencing amongst bands like Sherwood.

I could be wrong, though, and I'm not sure if I'm being sarcastic.

A Different Light sees the recent, initial MySpace Records signees straying from the straight-forward, sometimes-insipid guitars-and-choruses approach their previous records contained, but for territory that feels, in a number of ways, even less risky.

They've headed for synth-and-sequencing land, so inevitably the songs are longer and we've got make-believe vibraphones and cellos to contend with...as well as a whole lot of reverse reverb leading in and out of the 'bigger-sounding' portions of songs.

Oh, and electronic drumkits, of course.

Maybe it just feels like the hooks are repeated more often per song. Maybe the album's track sequencing just feels a little contrived and the first track only seems like two songs smashed together for the sake of continuity. Or maybe all that is true. I can only speculate as to the intent behind the songs' structures and the album's overall shape.

I do know, though, that I couldn't enjoy this record as much as I would have liked to due to the above.

And don't get me wrong, I had only limited love for their previous releases. They were harmless, toothless, and even in their best moments only echoed sentiments that other bands have already better expressed.

But despite the crowd they catered to, band members' apparent personalities, the buzz surrounding them, and their apparent reluctance to tread anything resembling new ground, I couldn't hear any falsity in the songs. Never did the songs themselves seem to be reaching for anything. They just were.

Maybe it only seemed like the production was restrained. Maybe it only seemed like the lyrics understood their own clichés and limitations. Maybe that wasn't actually a real vibraphone I heard here and there.

Or maybe it was, and that's why those records succeeded where this one failed. I'm fairly ambivalent about this release, but maybe I can sum it up by pointing to the record's strongest track: "Alley Cat." When you listen to it, just close your ears when the lyrics come dangerously close to Fall Out Boy territory, sighing "Through the day I'll prepare for the fight / With a fever on a Saturday night / 'Cause this is givin' me the shakes and the butterflies."

Just pretend they rented an opera hall. That isn't delay. Pretend he really sings like Cher. That's not Auto-Tune.

Just pretend a single one of the instruments droning in the background isn't digital.

You might really like what you hear.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Scruffy (March 15, 2007)

What's next? Starbucks records?

Yeah, they have that. It's, um, actually called "HEAR Music".

dreux (March 14, 2007)

Actually, I'm a Creative Writing/Women's Studies major at UVic. But reviews probably read like that because you're a miserable asshat who projects his own insecurities onto others.

Anonymous (March 14, 2007)

Why does every fucking review I read these days sound like it was written by some recording school dork that couldn't get a studio gig when he graduated so he takes out his frustration by indulging in "rock criticism"?

BrandonSideleau (March 14, 2007)

What's next? Starbucks records?

shot_in_the_dark (March 13, 2007)

i enjoyed the review. don't know about the record though.

Anonymous (March 13, 2007)

Sports!

dreux (March 13, 2007)

This CD is not 'so good,' nor does it 'rock.' See above for why it's average-at-best, derivative, overproduced schlock.

XCARLUPANDDIEX (March 13, 2007)

this stuff is so good

rockguy2007 (March 13, 2007)

this CD rocks, I love it. check out my friends band Waking Ashland.

Anonymous (March 13, 2007)

This is tateXcore of the very, very highest order

GlassPipeMurder (March 13, 2007)

score is for myspace records.

Anonymous (March 13, 2007)

This is horrible. Even worst than The Forecast who actually had two decent songs.

inagreendase (March 13, 2007)

The single on this is nausea-inducing, but the rest of it's...half-decent. The EP and last full-length were friendly power-pop all throughout, but this is just way too inconsistent other than the solid Postal Service-esque moments.

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