May 6, 2010
There’s a special place in my heart for bands like Elephant Parade; that is, bands that are sort of innocuous and unselfconsciously adorable. Those more callous than myself could probably sum up this record’s cuteness by using their index finger to gag themselves. Okay, perhaps that’s an acceptable reaction, especially if one considers the following lyrics, from “For You”: “I like you / You don’t make me cry / I like you / You always make me smile.” As far as I can tell this is delivered without irony or sarcasm. To me, that’s one of the main reasons this record is enjoyable.
It’s a short record, clocking in at about 22 minutes, and as evidenced by the aforementioned lyrics, it’s relatively harmless. They sound like a stripped-down version of Camera Obscura or Au Revoir Simone. It’s an acoustic record, male and female harmonies, with a lo-fi sound to match its title, Bedroom Recordings. The track “Boat Song” shows the band’s potential beyond simple acoustic songs, featuring a beautiful, floaty keyboard arrangement and a breathy melody; I wish the entire record was closer to this sound.
Like a lot of decent pop music, their songs are shallow enough that enjoyment of them beyond the few first listens is contingent on the positive experiences which the songs accompany. I also imagine that one or two of these tracks could nicely round out a mix tape.
by Joe Veix