Au – Verbs

July 20, 2008

Though Portland based band Au’s second album Verbs has been touted as psychedelic, that description doesn’t much prepare listeners for the music that’s actually in store for them. It’s experimental music that will appeal to fans of Animal Collective and Panda Bear and bands like them, but the tracks here are largely influenced by classical music and fusion jazz, and it’s frankly refreshing to hear a band working in this genre that isn’t all about Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys. Verbs is a work that allows itself to wander from joyous sounding songs with big choruses and harmonies, to songs punctuated by ambient touches and then marching band style music. Sometimes the album feels a bit aimless, but it always finds itself again, introducing elements that are interesting, engaging and sometimes surprising. Though it wasn’t designed to repeat seamlessly, I found that when the album started again, I thought another song had just begun. Verbs is an album you can wander through a few times, discovering new things. Standout cuts: “Are Animals,” “rr vs. d,” “Two Seasons” and “The Waltz.”

http://www.myspace.com/peaofthesea

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