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Age of the Sun

9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 22, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Sunshine Fix - Age Of The Sun - Cd

Olivia Tremor Control's Bill Doss takes the revivalist term "sunshine pop" literally on this side project. A semi-concept album on which a general love of life carries Doss over sections he can't jam the solar motif into, Age of the Sun doubles as a show-offy pastiche of bright-eyed '60s sounds that recalls Sagittarius here, the Ogden's-era Small Faces there. The latter influence, augmented by some Revolver-style bass work, toughens (if that's the word) the sound a bit; as often as not, we're a decisive step or two away from "Green Tambourine" land. Doss even offers a couple of acoustic-based tracks that are more '71 than Summer of Love. Still, there's no shortage of Mellotron, treated piano, toy instruments, fuzz guitar, tape effects, and layers of vocal harmonies. Sincerity and knowingness sit together here, with earnestness winning the day and a mischievous 20-minute voice loop ending it. Age is ultimately a diversion rather than a masterpiece, but those who like it will like it a lot. --Rickey Wright

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Age Of The Sun
  2. Ultraviolet Orchestra
  3. That Ole Sun
  4. Everything Is Waking
  5. Digging To China
  6. A Better Way To Be
  7. An Illuminated Array
  8. See Yourself
  9. Inside The Nebula
  10. Hide In The Light
  11. Sail Beyond The Sunset
  12. A 93 Million Mile Moment
  13. Mr. Summer Day
  14. 72 Years
  15. Cycles Of Time
  16. Le Roi-soleil

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 22, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Emperor Norton
  • ASIN: B00005Q36U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,732 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Meyrink on June 3, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The cover art depicts a stone Zodiac tuned to the months May through September, with what looks like a sun of rubber bands floating above, while the music therein beautifully expresses an aural equivalent of just that image: exquisitely crafted pop music as sunny and lucid as the season of Summer itself, simultaneously as surreal as a bouncing planet made from rubber bands.
A certain kind of spirituality also seems to be expressed here (fans of The Olivia Tremor Control will be familiar with the joyful yea-saying that permeated that band's two albums), making this collection of masterfully executed pop tunes a healthy fix for the soul as well as for the ears.
Not only are the melodies and lyrics of a sunshiny quality (which is not to say saccharine or in any sense cloying: the emotional level of this music is too real for mere sentiment [this is crystal clear bubbling pop, not treacly syrup]), but they have been enhanced and seasoned with hand claps, electronic effects, bells, xylophone, cellos, mellotron, loops and other delightful ephemera... Brian Wilson's Smile madcap minus the demons that derailed that pop-train.
The world needs more of this kind of stuff.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Hildegard Friday on April 12, 2002
Format: Audio CD
After the Olivia Tremor Control's split into two "halves," thebilldoss (I'll forgive him his ego because I didn't see his picture anywhere in the liner notes, heh heh :)), the obvious "yang" of the duo, has rebounded with "Age of the Sun," the second offering from his side project The Sunshine Fix. Cullen-Hart, OTC's "yin," has graced us with the Circulatory System. Though both are fabulous albums, neither is as good as "Cubist Castle" or "Black Foliage"(I liked the latter better, by the way).
But, if you love eyes-wide-open, Abbey Road-inspired, Cowsills-meets-Elliott Smith SUNNY pop, look no further than this album.
My favorites are Mr. Summer Day (think Paul McCartney meets Skylarking-era XTC) and Everything is Waking (very "It's a Beautiful Morning" -- reminds me of childhood family vacations when my parents would play Rascals tapes).
The only reason this album doesn't quite get 5 stars is because I think parts are a bit too derivative. The acoustic guitar intro to "Sail Beyond the Sun" sounds waay too much like "Dear Prudence," and the instrumental break in "Everything is Waking" is a bit too derivative of "Pictures of Matchstick Men."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Ruble on October 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Obviously Bill Doss (and his old parter William Hart) is influenced heavily by the Beatles and the Beach Boys. But Please don't just listen to this album briefly and casually and dismiss it as lesser quality Beatles, or songs that should be Beatle B-sides. To me, as much as I respect the Beatles, Bill Doss holds his own in regards to vocals and how he can produce the albums in order to make it sound like his voice is coming from a hundred different directions, and the harmonies are as good if not better than anything I've heard in music. Personally, I enjoy the way Bill Doss crafts his albums better than the beatles, because it's as pretty and probably trippier if you really listen to it. I'm not starting a debate about who's better, but I'm just saying that Bill Doss's albums are great albums, and deserve much more respect than to be pushed aside because of the similar style and sound. Is it original? Not totally. But I think he has done an amazing job of combining beautiful and melodic songs with the most freakish instrumental arangements I have heard in my life. Overall, I think the craftsmanship of his albums are above anything in any similar genre, or any genre really.

That said, I have to admit this album is possibly as good as Olivia Tremor Control's stuff. It's a close call, but this album probably has more good songs than Doss's other efforts, and this album is a bit more eclectic when it comes to the style of the overall sound. Circulatory System is my personal favorite album from everyone ever associated with Elephant 6, but this album is right on the heals of that album. I recommend listening to this album loud and with decent speakers, so you can get the full effect of the instruments and Doss's voice. It's such a great feeling to listen to the album in my car or house, turned up really loud and hearing Doss's voice echoing around the room and throughout my head. A great experience in music.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Kincaid on January 26, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Listening to this excellent album side by side with the recent Circulatory System release is almost a completely satisfying musical experience. It does, however, underscore how two great songwriters like Bill Doss and W.C. Hart can complement each other. That said, this first full-length release by Doss's band stands strongly on its own, and stands in upbeat contrast to the moodier CS effort of last year. I strongly recommend this album to anyone remotely interested in Olivia Tremor Control. This is one half of a great songwriting team at the top of his game.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lee Armstrong HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 16, 2004
Format: Audio CD
"Age of the Sun" by Sunshine Fix is a good collection. Its experimental mix of 60s-style pop melodies and unusual electronica that is sweetly attractive. "Mr. Summer Day" has airy harmonies that would have fit on a record by the Association with a pretty pulsing melody and some electronic noodling. My favorite track is "A Better Way to Be" with its John Lennon meets Brian Wilson vocals and its gorgeous melody, "Did you know that's not the way it's supposed to be?" On the final Sun King track "Le Roi-Soleil" the over 9-minute holding of a single note was a bit more experimental than I care to follow. However, overall this is an interesting disc that I went back and picked up after becoming entranced by "Green Imagination." Enjoy!
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