Chris Garneau – Music For Tourists (CD)

There softly-stated sound of “Castle Time” shows that Garneau is an artist that exists in the nexus between alternative and indie rock. There are hints of radio-friendly sound present in “Music for Tourists”, but this is moderated by the strings and other more classic elements present on the disc. The cohesion achieved during the first few tracks on “Music For Tourists” is impressive; individuals know by the time that “Relief” ends that this is a Garneau album. There are enough things present between the tracks that it never seems as if Garneau is struggling to stay relevant.

The vocals present on “Relief” even go so far as to move into a Momus-like sound, which is interesting considering that the quicker tempo of this song almost makes this Garneau’s first radio-friendly track. Regardless, individuals will like this slower brand of pop-alternative rock, as much as it is tempered by shoegazer rock. There seems to be a minor problem with “Black & Blue”, particularly the rate at which Garneau speaks/sings the vocals. There are lines present on the track where it seems as if ey is trying to put too many words in the space of one line. By doing this, the song sounds stilted and a little off at times. Luckily, this happens only a few times during the track and Garneau escapes from “Black & Blue” relatively unscathed, and with a new style (an earlier Zevon/Joel/John type of pop-rock) under eir belt. While it was commonplace for Garneau’s tracks to range between four and six minutes, “Saturday” comes around and ends in half that time.

This does not change the underlying psychology of the disc, as “Saturday” does well in filling space between “Black & Blue” and the next longer track, “So Far”. The inclusion of pianos playing such an integral role during “So Far” brings things back to the older pop style first broached during “Black & Blue”. The more tender style approached during this track is much more nuanced than anything previously used during this disc, and gives the disc the energy that is needed to get through the next eight tracks. Garneau creates a solid album that individuals can get behind. There is not necessarily the style present that will catapult Garneau into the pantheon of alternative rock, but I believe that this will occur over the space of the next few albums. See how Garneau grows.

Top Tracks: So Far, Blue Suede Shoes

Rating: 5.0/10

Chris Garneau – Music For Tourists / 2007 Absolutely Kosher / 13 Tracks / http://www.chrisgarneau.com / http://www.absolutelykosher.com / Reviewed 25 May 2007

[JMcQ]

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