steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Spectacular Fantastic

"Vortex of Vacancy" CD

Ionik Records

Genres: indie pop, folk-pop, lo-fi

Ionik Records
130 South 22nd St., 2F
Philadelphia, PA

Sep 6 - 12 2004

This is the third Spectacular Fantastic disc I've reviewed, and it seems like there's been even more improvement.  Detmer's songs have become crisper, catchier, and more engaging.  After one listen to this juicy collection of folk-pop tunes, you won't be able to stop listening.

The style Mike Detmer employs is sweet and simple.  His songs are very melodic, with lots of acoustic guitar chords and folky singing.  At times he tends towards country, although most of this can be classified as pop music with folk influences.

Vortex of Vacancy starts off with "Eskimo" and "Lullaby," two indie pop tunes with slight folk leanings.  Some of the softer, acoustic tracks rank among Detmer's best; "Orbit" and "Obsession" are deceptively simple, using cute pop hooks to produce some overwhelmingly catchy melodies.  "Adore," meanwhile, sounds almost like a Sparklehorse tune, while "Just My Luck" is catchy indie rock ala early Pavement.  "Alchohol" (sic), on the other hand, has a bit of a country slant.  Although many of these songs vary somewhat stylistically, they all share a certain trend of accessibility that makes them successful.

Overall, Vortex of Vacancy is an adorably simple pop record that makes for perfect bedtime listening.  Detmer continues his climb to musical perfection...


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 13 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2004]