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Sea Lion

4 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 4, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

The melodic musings of "Sea Lion" found inspiration in the natural world and Ryan McPhun's travels with in it. With a Dictaphone, he ventured into the wilds of Africa, the ancient monasteries of Thailand, and the haunting landscapes of New Zealand that surround his everyday. It was intended to be a world music album, but reverb and psychedelic pop crept in to create a unique mixture of exotic sounds, accomplished with an impressive array of instruments - from steel-string ukulele to djembe drums to pots and pans - all set upon a cozy cushion of synths and cassette samples.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 4, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sub Pop
  • ASIN: B0012IWHLE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #346,829 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Erik Norman on June 9, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I downloaded this album in my recent venture to become more aware of this year's (2008) Pitchfork Music Festival (if you've never been... it's AMAZING). Along with Fleet Foxes, The Dodos, and A Hawk and a Hacksaw, this album was one of my favorite finds. This band makes psychadelic rock that is at times beautiful and haunting and at other times jubulent and fun.
The opening "Blue Penguin" is one of the quiet ones, based mostly on an eerie guitar melody with lots of twiddly psychedelic effects in the background. The next two songs, "Oh Mojave" and "Tane Mahuta" are very latin influenced and remind me quite a bit of the excellent Os Mutantes. These songs are a lot of fun and I feel would go over very well at a party. You can't help but dance to them. The next two songs return to the quiet ambient side of things. I find these two songs to be the low point of the album.
However, the next song "Remember" is stunningly beautiful. Amazing melodies and beautiful arrangement and textures. The horn part in the middle is particularly nice. This song is certainly a highlight. The album really picks up with this song and the next three songs are all top notch especially "Kenya Dig It?". This song just rocks. It has such a great drum beat.
The last song on the album, "Morning Sun" is one of the weirdest. The first half is dreamy and ambient, and then all of a sudden it switches to this trancy electro-pop feel, very remenicent of recent Of Montreal. Certainly an odd song especially given that nothing else is vaguely remenicent of that feel on anywhere else on the album.
Overall, this is a great album. I will say one of my main criticisms is the running order of the album. I think they could have resequenced the tracks so that two songs with a similar feel weren't back to back.
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Format: Audio CD
When I did my first listen-through of the second album by New Zealand band the Ruby Suns, I thought I was listening to a remixed version of the soundtrack from an old world travelogue film. World music influences permeate the album, which is largely experimental pop along the lines of Animal Collective or Panda Bear, though from song to song, the music on Sea Lion can seem the work of multiple bands instead of just one. Despite its esoteric, often restless seeming wanderings, Sea Lion remains refreshingly unpretentious, the sound of a band not showing off, but simply expressing the love of music they have arrived at and the joy of playing it. The whole album is good, but here are some standout cuts: "Oh, Mojave," "Tane Mahuta," "Adventure Tour" and "Kenya Dig It?"
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Format: Audio CD
This is an incredible album for any fan of purely blissful indie pop at its best. If you like The Olivia Tremor Control, The Apples in Stereo, Beulah (or any of the Elephant 6 Collective for that matter) then this album was made for you. Effusive, psychedelic, and fun. Highly recommended for fans of this genre.
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