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6 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars more hooks than a Jim Rose Sideshow weightlifter, June 15, 2011
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It's got a lot of hooks, is what I'm saying.

I accidentally saw this band at SXSW this year, and as I was formulating my first impression, much of what I heard kind of reminded me of Wilco's poppier stuff, which is the Wilco stuff I like the most. And then they closed their set with a cover of Nilsson's "Jump Into the Fire," also a personal favorite, so that sealed the deal: I was going to buy this album when I got home.

And now it's the winner of the coveted James Porter Favorite Album of 2011 So Far award. I know I'm crappy at reviews, but if it's any help, my runners up include the new Death Cab for Cutie, Paul Simon, Trail of Dead, My Morning Jacket, Darwin Deez, and Spindrift.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A power-pop singer/songwriter recovers from a not-so-magical year, February 8, 2011
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This review is from: Year of Magical Drinking (Audio CD)
There's something exciting happening in Los Angeles; singer/songwriters like Bleu and Adam Marsland are breaking out once again, but instead of rolling down from the communal experience of the canyon, they're holing up in homes and hobby studios. Such was the inspiration for former Broken West guitarist/vocalist Ross Flournoy, whose relocation to Pasadena after a band breakup severed his daily musical connection, and left him casting about for direction. Amid writer's block and a daily beer habit, his lifesaver was an NPR song competition that afforded only a weekend to write, record and submit a song. The external pressure turned out to be just what he needed, documenting his denial, admission, inventory, acceptance and recovery as a songwriter in "Under the Gun." With one under his belt, dozens more tumbled forth, some written alone, some with Adam Vine.

Apex Minor on record - Flournoy and former bandmate Brian Whelan, along with help from Andy Creighton, Derek Brown, Rob Douglass and Dan Iead - is reminiscent of Broken West, similarly propulsive and tuneful, but warmer and looser. The album begins at Flournoy's nadir, looking up from the bottom of a half-drunk mason jar in "Southern Decline." Producer Dan Long layers on buzzing rhythm guitars, demonstrating just how deeply Flournoy was buried in depression. His salvation as a songwriter leads to emotional re-emergence, self-awareness and on "I Know These Waters Well," the twelfth-step desire to pass along new found wisdom. The album alternates rave-ups and soulful ballads, with Flournoy's voice particularly expressive on the latter. Despite the detour, Apex Manor marks a terrific new phase, predicted by the Broken West, but ignited by a fresh start. [©2011 hyperbolium dot com]
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4.0 out of 5 stars A happy "spur of the moment" purchase, September 1, 2013
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Owen M (Mississippi) - See all my reviews
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I often check Amazon's monthly mp3 deals and bought this one during one of those sales. It's an easy album to put on while driving, cleaning, even doing homework.
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4.0 out of 5 stars pop goodness, December 10, 2012
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This review is from: Year of Magical Drinking (Audio CD)
This record starts off very strong with extremely singable melodies combined with some nice edgy geetar. Tends to fade a bit towards the end, but overall very please ear-candy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best albums of 2011, September 6, 2012
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This review is from: Year of Magical Drinking (Audio CD)
After rediscovering how much I really enjoyed The Broken West's "I Can't Go On, I'll Go On" album - I decided to check and see what new material is out there - only to discover that The Broken West had broken up... Or had they really? Because there's this other band called Apex Manor who's album kept coming up every time I searched for The Broken West. As you probably figured out from someplace other than this review - the talent behind The Broken West is also behind Apex Manor - and they are bringing it!!!

This album is louder, faster and looser than The Broken West's releases - and that only goes to add to my enjoyment... It's a deceptively happy poppy sounding album but when the first lines of the first track Souther Decline come belting out - "When I'm feeling heavy like a sinking stone - and all I really want is to be left alone - I know where - I know where to go" - followed by the next track Under the Gun which is confrontational yet self righteously indignant - and for the most part true when you're in that mindset... You start realizing this guy is using this music to get something off his chest - and it works - frustration is a good motivation.

The rest of the album is a solid foot tapper - every song is a sing along for me - it's one of my go to albums when I want to listen to just anything - as it's so very pleasing and upbeat. I sincerely hope that this isn't another 2 albums then done like The Broken West was - because I'm a fan - bring me more!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Satisfying and fun, June 5, 2012
This review is from: Year of Magical Drinking (Audio CD)
This comes loaded double-barrel chock full of tasty nuggets that'll keep you humming and happy through even the dreariest of days. Great to find a menu like this laid flat out on a platter for simple, pleasurable enjoyment. Dive in head first!
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Year of Magical Drinking
Year of Magical Drinking by Apex Manor (Audio CD - 2011)
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