Reviews:: City of Glass Equations

Well god damn. After witnessing the crowd at the Old Man Luedecke CBC show happily join in banjo driven sing-alongs, clap along respectfully for the terrific musicianship (and the skill Steve Dawson displays each and every time he picks up a guitar), the sun has finally shown up here in Halifax and is shining as bright as the room full of smiles I sat in last night.


So instead of more sad bastard music, I’m offering up something to get moving… and that’s exactly what Vancouver’s City of Glass forces you to do. Taking their name from the Coupland penned book dedicated to the West coast paradise, the synth pop outfit builds melodies that bounce around like light trapped in the countless skyscrapers that dominated the downtown skyline. The simple, crisp electronics and guitar work shimmer, but the surprise comes when the chorus of Big Ideas explodes out of your speakers and you feel like you’ve take flight.


Unashamed of citing influences like New Order, Death Cab and Coldplay (although, I think fans of the last two would be out of luck) or the fan base and stature those bands have achieved, it’s not surprising that each and every song on Equations has the potential to grab a listener on first listen. Michael’s vocals push the duo (which I believe is now a quartet) above many of the bedroom lap-pop operators and into something larger, more accessible and universal. Instead of being bombarded with the intimate big city confessions that dominate so many electro compositions, the straightforward, surprisingly organic melodies feel more like alienation of being another body in a faceless crowd and that’s why even as the programmed beats dance nicely around your headphones, the guitar and choruses still feel like they could find a home in any of Robson Street’s countless clubs.


It’s tough sledding for any electro-pop artist these days. The success of The Postal Service has led to sound-alikes popping up all over the place and I’m just as frustrated as you are about having to hear that stupid Fireflies song in every store, on every radio station and even occasional chat roulette parodies (if you are 13, hey, you can keep listening), so I’ll happy offer any electro-pop fan a suitable alternative to a song about 1000 hugs or sock hops. City of Glass may write songs that could be as well received by that same audience, they have a unique voice, genuine sadness and enough depth so you can rest assured they wont jeopardize your indie cred. Not a bad way to jump start your Saturday if you ask me.


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MP3:: City of Glass - Big Ideas

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Tags: City of Glass

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 1st, 2010 at 9:15 am and is filed under 2010, Canada, EP, Reviews, Uncategorized, Vancouver. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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