|If his MySpace page is anything to go by, Marc Bianchi has had an epiphany. Or (as he’s from California) a, like, total epiphany, or whatever. Six albums into a computer bothering career, Her Space Holiday (his Bright Eyes-style alter ego) have gone all different, swapping Windows XP for winsome introspection. And pleasant ditties. And throw-away pop. Over the course of 14 songs he rips up his own rule book and starts again.|
This change of style, or side project depending on what you read, is pretty good. It does put you in mind of someone experimenting with being a combination of Belle and Sebastian and Lightspeed Champion. The most important thing in such a situation is that the constituent bits are good, and they are. "The New Kid Revival" has a slight Bowie, "Sound and Vision" swing to it, "My Crooked Crown" is a gorgeous little, acoustic pleasantry, "The Year In Review" is an arm-round-the-shoulder sing-a-long with a sweet descending tune, and the whole thing shows the signs of an experienced production brain. It doesn’t always work, "The Truth Hurts So This Should Be Painless" sounding a little bit too consciously ramshackle and derivative (there’s nothing quite as annoying as someone saying, “that’s easy, I can do that” and then proving they can’t). His lyrics are also occasionally by-numbers, "The World Will Deem Us Dangerous" suggesting that sometimes "the only you thing you can do is laugh about it, cry about it, dance around it." So, the only you thing you can do is – several things. How profound.
But overall there’s a lot to like. It’s a super supreme pizza of an album, with plenty of treats to keep you interested, and this from someone who hasn’t focussed on stuff like this before. Like, totally, like, well done, Marc. - Gob Shout