steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Calvin, Don't Jump

"A Way With Birds" CD

Happy Happy Birthday To Me

Genres: indie pop, indie rock

PO Box 1035
Panama City, FL 32402 

Jul 28 - Aug 3 2003

Calvin, Don't Jump's debut CD on HHBTM is indeed an enjoyable listen. Combining unconventional pop songs with interesting instrumental interludes, the band has created an epic album, rich in melody as well as creativity.

The album starts off with an almost childlike instrumental called "Triumphant Storm"; from there on, it's a real ride. You're taken through mystery and suspense one minute, and then joy and liberation the next. Tuneful and light pop numbers "Cockle" and "Wisteria" are complemented by dark and sometimes cryptic lyrics. Meanwhile, "O Mar" is a powerful, grand tune with a nice melody; the only problem is that sometimes the catchiness of it can get overshadowed by the loud instrumentation. As for the instrumental pieces, they are just as important to the album as the songs with vocals in them; the clarinet and trombone on "Adding Up," for example, is delightfully uplifting, setting the listener up for the strong "Wisteria." Finale "Wo" is a dark and powerful song that closes the record off.

Altogether, A Way With Birds is a very well-done album that offers much more than a quick pop fix. Calvin, Don't Jump have written intelligent, listenable music that deserves to be heard. Recommended.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 16 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]