Reviews:: Shade Highway

Pedigree and experience are two things that can’t be faked in rock n’ roll. Sure, an up-and-coming act can knock your socks off, hitting on the right touch stones and displaying energy and potential that let you know something special is happening, but timeless whip-smart pop songs take time to create.


After one listen, it’s obvious that Shade (a Toronto based quartet made up of members of The Jane be Janes, Weeping Tile and The Rheostatics and the latest creative vehicle for song writer Jane Gowan) has learned from years of playing music and knows what sound they want to play. Obviously the melody and lyrics are important but it’s the musical relationship Gowan shares with Mary Harmer, Tim Vesely and Cam Giroux that creates the relaxed feel the band emits.


If I was asked to describe the band’s sound in words, not paragraphs I’d be forced to rely on classics like Crisp. Professional. Tasteful. Unfortunately, with the abundance of reviews and reviewers bombarding you with those same words daily, the most apt descriptors are overused and seem more like a dismissal than a compliment. Shade exists in a world of effortless melodies and transitions that you can’t help but enjoy the listen. Whether it’s the hint of Nico era Velvets that creeps into the title track before the summery horns float in or the infectious What I Mean, the whimsical pop of Drive Backwards or the subtle haze they layer on Loneliness or Freedom, you realize that not one note on this compact 10-song, 36-minute record feels forced and that is very, very rare these days.


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Shade - What I Mean



Tags: , The Weeping Tile

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 at 9:09 am and is filed under 2010, Canada, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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