The Hidden Cameras, Awoo

The Hidden Cameras, Awoo

I always like the start of a record. Such high hopes and, if it doesn’t completely suck, the lingering chance of redemption. There’s almost a sigh of relief when you start to get drawn in, or even hypnotized. Here, the “Death of a Tune” has that honky, ’50s-ish, country-flavored rumble that is at once satisfying with its melodic hooks and humble in its approach. In the space of one track, and with all my other judgment suspended, the Hidden Cameras know how to turn a tune. This is a record with tunes! “From the moment I was taught to resist the education…” is how “Awoo,” the eponymous second track begins, and who couldn’t appreciate such a sentiment? The foreignness of the word easily bends itself to the melodic will of the singers, the vocal harmonies are almost Beach Boys, sweet and replete with strings.

The band’s instrumentation is sparse and simple: guitar (heavy on the acoustic), bass, drums, and violins. Nothing is overused or underused but skillfully placed to enhance each hook-laden song, which will surprise you when you see how much instrumentation there really is (lap steels, synths, and glockenspiels, etc.). “Lollipop” sounds eerily like R.E.M.’s “Radio-Free Europe,” but so what? You gotta put it to work for you, don’tcha? “Fee Fie” starts a different singer and quite a departure in mood but is deliciously introspective and sad. But don’t get down, because the next track, “Learning the Lie,” brings you back up with its catchy melody and solid falsetto-chorus. The Hidden Cameras are obviously lovers of great songwriters and unforgettable pop music themselves. Four stars. Bravo.

(Arts & Crafts -- 460 Richmond St W #402, Toronto, ON. M5V 1Y1, CANADA; http://www.arts-crafts.ca/; The Hidden Cameras -- http://www.thehiddencameras.com/)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Friday, January 12th, 2007. Filed under Reviews.

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