"Bumbling Home From the Star" CD
Genres: indie pop, folk, singer / songwriter
PO Box 150117
Aug 27 - Sep 2 2002
you may recognize Chris Cacavas from bands like Green on Red
and Giant Sand, you'll likely be surprised to know that he has
had a long and prolific solo career, releasing many albums on German
label Normal (as well as a few on Heyday and Innerstate) under both
his own name and with his Junkyard Love backup band. While most
North Americans paid little attention to him (even I, admittedly,
haven't obtained any of his previous efforts), he has built a strong
following in his label's homeland, Germany.
Upon listening to Bumbling Home From The Star, I quickly
realized that I should have been paying notice.
This is an amazing album. There, I said it. It's amazing. Cacavas
has an astonishing talent for crafting wonderful, downbeat pop songs.
"Sucker", for example, is a very hummable track that boasts
a powerful, yet eerie, feel to it. The key to its beauty is that Cacavas
has mastered both the melody and the atmosphere, producing more than a
pop song, but instead a pop sculpture. "I Just Killed A
Man", likewise, combines a faultless chorus (check out the
throwback to the Doors' "Riders On The Storm") with a
moody, dark ambiance that lends the song a wonderful creepiness.
While similarities to Neil Young are obvious (and overdone),
Cacavas' music definitely owes something to him. Fortunately, Star
also brings in a lot of its own ideas, as well as those of many other
influences. Bits of Mercury Rev, Radiohead, and Yo La
Tengo are all evident on these songs, many of which make use of
guest musicians who contribute trombone, cello, and even extra vocals
on some of the tracks. And despite the many instruments and the slick,
full-band style production, this album still retains Cacavas'
trademark folk-y sound, instead in a much more powerful form.
Occasionally depressing, occasionally reflective, Star has
all the makings of a modern pop classic.
55 min 39 sec; 12 tracks; distributed by Forced