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The Orchard


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Audio CD, August 24, 2010
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The Orchard + The Rhumb Line + Beta Love
Price for all three: $31.37

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Editorial Reviews

Ra Ra Riot's debut full-length, The Rhumb Line, was released in the summer of 2008, and it brought with it some beautiful and sparkly ruminations on the fragile things in life (namely life, death and love), much critical praise, and the kind of success that's measured not just by sales (although 65k US album scans and 130k US track downloads is nothing to sneeze at these days for a brand-new indie artist) but by appearances on Letterman, Ferguson, and
Conan, plus performances at Lollapalooza, All Points West, and the Sasquatch festival.
After spending much of the summer and fall of 2009 alternately touring the US with Death Cab for Cutie, headlining their own packed shows, and retreating to a country property in upstate New York to write and record, the band announced this summerâ TMs upcoming arrival of their new album The Orchard on the eve of a 2010 appearance at the prestigious Coachella festival.
Anticipation is feverish for new music, and the new album is an incredibly self-assured step for the band, delivering both hook-laden pop jams like first single "Boy" and the new-but-familiar-to-live-audiences "Too Dramatic" and ruminative slow-burns like the Anton Chekov/Kate Bush-inspired "The Orchard" and album-closer "Keep It Quiet."

1. the orchard
2. boy
3. too dramatic
4. foolish
5. massachusetts
6. you and i know
7. shadowcasting
8. do you remember
9. kansai
10. keep it quiet

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 24, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Barsuk
  • ASIN: B003TML0SW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,997 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Ra Ra Riot Store

Music

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Videos

Ra Ra Riot "You And I Know" (Preview)

Biography

Ra Ra Riot first met seven years ago while attending school in Syracuse, New York, and quickly graduated from basement rehearsals and student dance parties to blog buzz and press acclaim for their debut The Rhumb Line. After extensive touring for their meticulously recorded second record The Orchard and some membership changes, Ra Ra Riot decided to mix things up for their album Beta Love, ... Read more in Amazon's Ra Ra Riot Store

Visit Amazon's Ra Ra Riot Store
for 7 albums, 5 photos, videos, and 1 full streaming song.

Customer Reviews

Glad it was added to the album.
La'Maze Johnson
I tried and listened many times to this and the previous album, without the desired result, which was to enjoy the music.
I. Perry
(8/10) Kansai - Great drumming throughout, and a bouncy bass line keeps this song fun.
Dr. Rock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Rock on August 24, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Following up an album as good as The Rhumb Line is a difficult task. Ra Ra Riot had a major element working against them: the untimely passing of John Pike, their original drummer and a great lyricist (who penned various songs for The Rhumb Line). They also faced the possibility of a dreaded sophomore slump. Now, I've read some early critiques of the album that say this is just more of the same from Ra Ra Riot... but really, is that a bad thing? Taking a closer look...

The Orchard - A haunting beginning to an eclectic chamber pop album, The Orchard works as a great intro and a fitting title track. (7/10)

Boy - This rambunctious new single falls into the same camp as their catchy single, "Can You Tell." It's hard not to sing along with the relatable, yelped chorus where Wes shows off his boundless vocal range. It's hard to disagree with this song. (10/10)

Too Dramatic - A live staple turned recording, this song is instantly memorable for its catchy 80's vocal melody (and VERY 80's keyboards). The staccato strings also chop in and out in very precise, deliberate strokes that demand attention. (9/10)

Foolish - This song sounds classic to me. I almost feel like I heard it on the radio at some point a long time ago. That's a very good sign. Everything just fits into place very well on this track. (10/10)

Massachusetts - This overlong white-guy reggae song about Massachusetts falls short both lyrically and musically. It's almost as if this song wanted to be something like "Diplomat's Son" but relied too heavily on repetition. It's not bad if you only listen to it for a couple minutes though.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Rudolph Klapper on August 24, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I love it when bands surprise me. For someone who thought Ra Ra Riot were like a lesser Vampire Weekend with a string section after 2008's so-so The Rhumb Line, I was ready to push through The Orchard and let it down gently. Then I listened to it, and lo and behold, a band I had written off ends up backhanding me across the face with one of the better albums I've heard all year. Previous fans of the band will no doubt be delighted to hear that singer Wes Miles still sounds like Ezra Koenig, if a little more prone to falsetto, and that the band's bouncy brand of pop-rock is still very much in evidence (just check out that ADD bass line on uber-catchy single "Boy"). But whereas The Rhumb Line was all meaty melodies and festival-ready sing-a-longs, The Orchard feels like a proper album of baroque pop - the songwriting is noticeably stronger, the band takes their time around the tunes rather than jumping headfirst into hooks, and the lovely strings of violinist Rebecca Zeller and cellist Alexandra Lawn seem far more integrated into the affairs here rather than the gimmick they at times appeared to be on their debut.

It's a record that knows that the best way to start an album is not a rookie move like throwing out your best song or first single, but to kick things off with a track that announces a new, determined direction instead. "The Orchard" is just that song, floating along ominous string chords and a pensive bass line without a hint of drums or guitar. The focus is purely on Miles, who sounds like a markedly more assured vocalist throughout the record and never as clearly as he does on "The Orchard.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Leard on November 24, 2010
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I don't envy bands like Ra Ra Riot, who explode onto the scene with a compelling story and even more compelling music to back it up. Debut album "The Rhumb Line" was a joyous and beautiful collection of chamber pop. The band immediately drew comparisons to fellow indie darlings Vampire Weekend, though Ra Ra Riot owes less to world music and more to classical influences. Whereas Vampire Weekend went all in on their sequel, the lively Contra, Ra Ra Riot has dialed it back a bit. A pop band with strings, they decided that more strings and mid-tempo tracks, with less uptempo pop, was the way to go. While the backing strings are tighter and do bring more to the songs, adding a welcome texture to the album, the melodies don't rise quite as high as they did on "The Rhumb Line", and the verve and passion that brought that album to life is largely missing.

It seems that Ra Ra Riot intentionally avoided trying to match their previous work, and while it's good to see them avoiding the pitfall of cribbing off their own notes and making new songs indistinguishable from the old, what remains just isn't as inspiring. There are some solid tracks, and Alexandra Lawn's vocals on "You and I Know" are a welcome change of pace, but for the most part, "The Orchard" lacks the fire and passion of their debut. "Massachusetts" is repetitive and pedestrian, and many of the songs don't stick around in the listener's head once they're over. "Boy" is bouncy and fun, but large stretches of the album saunter forward at a languid pace. In measured doses this can work, and if the melodies are lights-out it can excel, but it langours in long doses without the substance to carry the album through.
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