Reviews:: The Receiver - Decades

It's hard to sell people on the idea of electro pop music. People complain all the songs sound the same, or that the melody is confused by the constant nuances and effects the artist insists on including. Electro pop is a constant battle to set a mood without losing or overwhelming the listener.

The Receiver is actually comprised of two brother, Jesse and Casey Cooper. When Decades - out on Stunning Models on Display records - showed up in my inbox, I was a little sketch. The promo speak seemed a bit overwhelming. Organ driven melodies with foot stomping bass and drums. Nothing new. However, the organic feel this band delivers hooked me within seconds.

Jesse's drums really give the tracks a "live" feel, approaching the sounds from a live Manitoba (err, Caribou) set on tracks like Moments of Fire. It's almost as if his drums are determined by what Casey is playing as opposed to practice and repetition. This keeps you into the songs, and Casey's programming, piano, guitar, and keys do the rest. The album seems to battle between anger and reflection, with uptempo cymbal crashing cuts interspersed amongst delicate piano tracks. As opposed to building layer after layer into his work, Casey relies on a more minimalistic approach and this strengthens the transitions, vocals and the part each instrument plays in the songs.

One of my favorite words in the world is visceral, and this record is just that. Casey and Jesse seem to react to each other's ideas perfectly, which is interesting considering Casey's classical musician training. The free flow approach suits this style of music, and without it the project would seem rehearsed.

The Receiver is going on tour summer, and even landed a spot playing with blogger dandy Beirut. Check out their myspace page for some tracks and dates.

My favorite track is:
MP3:: One In
The simple piano riff is complimented with orchestral strings, backing vocals and, ironically is one of the more singer/songwriter tracks on the record, but the result is amazing.

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