Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Sunshine Company - Happy Is


Taking a more somber approach to their light, folkish pop, the Sunshine Company's second LP offers more harmony, more reflections, but less hooks and whimsy than their first record. An apparent result of the societal upheavals of the time, the album notes tell us that the record was made in "a world so wrought and chained with meaningless ideas that it's dreams are merely pastel coloured nightmares." This is basically adult pop music dressed up in the hipster garb of the psychedelic generation. How else can you explain hippie versions of Les Baxter songs? In step with the times, the album has a light, country-rock influence apparent on the slight twang of "Reflections of an Angel" and Steve Gillette's "Darcy Farron." "Love, That's Where It Is" takes the more buoyant, string-laden approach of the first album and combines some fine fuzz guitar work to appeal to the kids. "I Can't Help But Wonder" is a cheery, doe-eyed look at love, replete with underwater vocal effects, and "You Don't Know Her Like I Do" jumps into some subdued acid rock. "If You Only Knew" is worth noting, as it a cover of Curt Boettcher's pre-Millennium band, the Ballroom. The final track, "Without Really Thinking" is a melodic, Baroque tale that holds together well and exits the album on a high note. There are some slightly addictive moments on the record (especially the opening "Look, Here Comes the Sun"), but unfortunately there is quite a bit of filler in between those moments.

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