Land Of Talk, Applause Cheer Boo Hiss

Land Of Talk, Applause Cheer Boo Hiss

When I was in my early 20s and finishing up my Masters, I fell in love with Poe. Her first eponymously titled album was a bong in the lightsocket, angry and grooved. Lots of loops and sounds and such, and it didn’t really have the sound of a pretty face that had screwed her way to making an album. I was in love.

While discovering Poe, I met a girl, in that one special time where planets align and you get that manna from heaven. Through a number of happy coincidences we started seeing each other, and I ended up in Cincinnati at her flat wearing flannel boxers and walking barefoot on the 150-year-old cedar floors, the two of us enjoying the hell out of each other. She was clearly insane (or not so clearly, at the time), and she might have been on the rebound. And she smoked. And she loved Poe. I used to describe to this girl a deep desire for Poe (in the same way I wish the same thing for Justin Timberlake now) to actually front a band of humans, who played real instruments and not laptops, and let some of that hatred out on top of music that mattered. Of course, it never happened; Poe released an obscure second album that did nothing, and the insane girl left me to “find herself” in the California desert. They were both gone, but neither desire ever died.

Land Of Talk is, in some ways, the fulfillment of that desire. It is Poe singing for Coldplay, in an alternate universe where Chris Martin plays piano and writes quirky chord progressions without opening his emo mouth. Land Of Talk hails from Montreal, Canada, lead by “anti-folk” singer Elizabeth Powell, who taps a wonderful quirky voice that reminds me of my beloved Poe — airy, pained, yet warm and inviting. The supporting musicians are perfectly lo-fi, lots of solid musicianship without too much polish. Applause Cheer Boo Hiss is a very pretty album, in the way that Manhattan is beautiful: rough, dynamic, emotional but not depressed, with a symmetry that pleases the eye (or, in this case, ear) as long as you don’t look too hard at the minutiae. “Magnetic Hill” is probably the strongest song on the album, but there is a great hook (or five) in every song. One of those few albums that get better the more you hear it.

Just like I did 13 years ago, I am falling in love again.

(Dependent Music -- P.O. Box 910, Stellarton, NS, B0K 1S0 CANADA;; Land Of Talk --
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Saturday, May 26th, 2007. Filed under Reviews.

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