Eyelid Movies
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Upstate NY-based duo Phantogram, consisting of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel, issued a couple of EPs in 2009 that quickly gained critical acclaim, in particular with the song "When I'm Small", and now finally comes the US release of their debut album, which was released in late 2009 in overseas markets. If you're not familiar with the band's sound, think Portishead or even Neon Indian.

"Eyelid Movies" (11 tracks; 45 min.) starts off with a blast, an upbeat "Mouthful of Diamonds", followed by their best song, the earlier-mentioned "When I'm Small" (both from their March '09 EP), the latter being so infectious, you just want to play it over and over again. But great tracks follow one after another, "Turn It Off", with great off-beat underlying drums. "Running From the Cops" is another great trip-hop tune. "All Dried Up" provides a breather to give way to "As Far As I Can See", yet another mesmerizing track, what a great fabulous first half of the album. The second half starts off with the only clunker on this album, "You Are the Ocean", a 5+ min. track that goes nowhere and has mediocre lyrics to boot ("This song is about you/Cuz I can't live without you"). But the best is yet to come after that, with "Bloody Palms", which is a coulda-shoulda be major radio single (if mainstream radio were any good, which of course it isn't), and "Futuristic Casket", another irresistible trip-hop track. The album closes with the pensive "10,000 Claps".

In all, I can't emphasize enough how impressed and charmed I am with this debut album of Phantogram. Sure to make my end of the year "best of" list, and quite high on it. Can't wait to see this band live at some point. If you wonder where you can hear this band, check out WOXY (BAM! The Future of Rock and Roll), the internet-only station that brings the best indie-music in the country. Meanwhile "Eyelid Movies" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
There are so many spaces that Eyelid Movies fits that it is crazy. I feel just as comfortable playing this record as an indie rock spot as I would at a hip hop night. The usage of familiar drum breaks gives it an appeal that will make any b-boy smile, while the instrumentation will definitely bring all the emo to the yard. There are references to Portishead and the like, but I hear J Dilla and Tobacco. It may sound similar to trip-hop, but these guys are showing a bit more range to me. Emotionally, Eyelid Movies covers a lot more ground than Tricky ever has. The range is in the production capabilities though, which I think is the greatest component to this two-piece band.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2010
I picked this up at my local record shop (!) after hearing it playing over their stereo - and I'm really glad I did. They're definitely influenced by Portishead, New Order, and many others (Mazzy Star and Belly come to mind), but they've also brought a unique glitchy electronica to the mix. The songs that stand out for me are "Mouthful of Diamonds", "You Are The Ocean", and "All Dried Up", but the highlight, which has stuck in my head (very pleasantly) is "When I'm Small" -- a very catchy bass-line, beautiful vocals, and a cinematic feel. All I can say is please, Phantogram; keep making music, and come tour the West Coast!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2011
It seem like these days, it's tough to find good, full-length CD's. Eyelid Movies is good from start to finish and will leave you wanting more at the end. Can't say enough about this CD; 5 stars all the way.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2011
How about a simple review from someone that is not an aspiring writer.....

If I had to categorize this album, I'd call it: hip-hop/alternative-rock. (parts of it even sound like house)
I'm not really into rock, but I am definitely a beat lover/hiphop(not rap) fan.

My favorites are:
Mouthful of Diamonds
Turn it off

I liked:
when I'm small
Running from the cops
As far as I can see
Bloody Palms

If your into Dilla, Hudson Mohawke, Flylo, you will like this album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This incredibly-talented duo opened up for Zero 7 last night at the House of Blues and, I can assure you, knocked every one of us for a loop. The electronics were amazing, Sarah's voice was like the voice of a goddess from another planet, Josh's onstage guitar machinations (bobbing & weaving with his strobe lights) were the very definition of neo-psychedelic. The only disappointing thing was they only got to play a few songs, and by the time we were all really getting into their groove, they were having to say goodnight. It was also disheartening to find that they ran out of their current stash of CDs they had with them...I wasn't surprised to find that they'd sold out. Got to speak with Sarah briefly at the end of the evening...a true sweetheart. Signed up for their Email list and was informed that their EP can be purchased at their webside, [...]t. Check it out...these 2 deserve every bit of success in the world. They made the evening with Zero 7 so much more enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2011
I don't write reviews for music very often. This CD however, deserves it. This is probably the best disc that I bought in '11. Check it out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2009
After seeing Phantogram open up for The Noisettes in DC back in August I knew right away that if they weren't gonna be the Next Big Thing, they're at least going to be the Next Awesome Thing. Look for the buzz to get deafening as the US release of this LP approaches, but for now just check them out on myspace/youtube/your home town. The "street beat/psyche pop" label they've been given is surprisingly accurate and obvious after just the first few beats of "Mouthful of Diamonds". The way keyboardist Sarah Barthel puts it is "We wanted to incorporate all our own influences and created our own sound that's a combination of Serge Gainsbourg, sampling and Detroit hip-hop. How I explain it to the customers who come into the restaurant where I work is that we sound like a combination of Kanye West and Radiohead."

And there it is. Five stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
When musicians incorporate a melange of influences along with a spark of creativity, they can come up with a fresh sounding album like "Eyelid Movies" by the duo Phantogram.

Love the synth, sampling & various effects on this debut effort. Sarah Barthel has an ethereal quality to her voice yet can also express emotion quite effectively. Joshua Carter adds some nice contrasting vocals. His guitar work provides texture that is both interesting and complementary. The drum beats really add propulsion to some selections.

I thought the chorus in several songs got a bit repetitive. I'm also disappointed "Make A Fist" wasn't included.

All in all, this is a serious and exciting effort by musicians who enjoy their craft.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2010
I downloaded this on a whim from Amazon's $5 album stash. It's worth far more than that! The group shows creativeness and energy that is very refreshing. Each song is very well crafted, and they do not cut corners anywhere on the album. My only preference would to be hear more vocals from Sarah Barthel, whose voice is heavenly. I'll definitely be spreading the word about this album, and I eagerly await the next!

Update: I saw Phantogram during their Fall 2010 tour. They put on a great show. Surprises: Sarah has some truly epic dance moves, and they incorporated a live drummer (Tim Oakley) who was an excellent addition. They were also very nice at their merch booth. I highly suggest catching a show.
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