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Cannibal Sea

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 21, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This is the third full-length album from this Booklyn collective, The Essex Green. Featuring songs that draw on themes on travel, explroation and the desire for a quiet niche amid the pressures of big city living. Listening to CANNIBAL SEA is like opening a songbook of classic pop. The twleve songs incorporate country-rock traces the Byrds, the Greenwich Village balldry of Fred Neill and the acoustic pop harmonizing of the Mamas and the Papas. Add the pure pop perfection of the Monkees and mix with modern traces of the Shins, the Hidden Cameras and Jens Lekman and you have a recipe for a sound that timeless without being purely retro.

Amazon.com

Part Grant McLennan, part Belle and Sebastian, and certainly part Ladybug Transistor--the incarnation that preceded this Brooklyn trio--Essex Green plays tunes that are at once deliriously bright and unabashedly laconic. They hail from Brooklyn, were once Ladybug Transistor, and are part of the Elephant 6 bloodline (that which spawned Olivia Tremor Control, Apples in Stereo, and Neutral Milk Hotel). And Essex Green loves, loves melody, snappy tunes with seemingly Scottish titles like "This Isn't Farmlife," and the lilting vocals, chiming guitars, and Fender Rhodes piano that so wonderfully serve A.C. Newman and the New Pornographers. That's the quixotic predicament with Essex Green: You've heard them before and yet haven't. You should. --Andrew Bartlett
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 21, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Merge Records
  • ASIN: B000E6GBY4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,344 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Essex Green Store

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By William S. Schweers Jr. on March 31, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is the most listenable cd I have heard all year. Chris Ziter and Sasha Bell trade off vocals to excellent effect and even guita maestra Jeff Baron gets into the act on "Rabbit." This is the quintessential road trip album with travel and leave-taking as a major theme. I will be driving around with the top down listening to "Don't Know Why" all summer.
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Format: Audio CD
This is just a flat out irresistible album! And I have Amazon to think for it. I had never heard of Essex Green until it popped up in my Recommended for You page on Amazon. I did some research, discovered that they specialize in Chamber Pop and decided to give the album a listen. I generally ignore the Amazon recommendations since most of them are for things I already have or things I would never want, but in this case I was utterly pleased.

Since I knew nothing about the band, I did some reading on the Internet. Several of the members appear to be in more than one band together, including Ladybug Transistor, another band I plan on checking out. Musically it is pop, but sometimes it sounds more like folk, sometimes like paisley rock. "Don't Know Why (You Stay)" reminds me a lot of the power pop of The Primitives. But regardless of how you classify these songs, they are just great. There honestly isn't a bad cut on the disc and several are absolutely outstanding. The band features two lead singers, Christopher Ziter and Sasha Bell. Though one is male and one female, their voices have many of the same qualities, blessed with a wonderfully woody, nasal tone. While Ziter is a very fine vocalist, I just adore Sasha Bell's voice. She imbues every line she sings with a lackadaisical nonchalance that I find utterly seductive. Though the vocals stand out throughout the album, the playing is also first rate and infectious.

But what really makes this a fine album is the great set of songs. Like most CDs, the best songs tend to be crowded near the beginning of the disc. Back in the days of LPs you got a very different spacing of strong songs. Most albums tended to start off with a great song and then put another as the final track of the A-Side.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
A true hidden gem, and easily one of my favorite albums of all time, from one of my favorite bands of all time. Cannibal Sea's tracks can be loosely sorted into three flavors- you'll find pop/rock (see: Don't Know Why), soulful folk pieces (see: Rue De Lis), and (perhaps The Essex Green's strongest suit), psychedelic rock lifted straight from the 60's (see: Cardinal Points). It's a similar blend that showed up on their previous album, The Long Goodbye, but don't think this CD is a paint-by-numbers affair. Each and every track is listenable, engaging, distinctive, and (above all else) lovable, permeated with a elegant grooviness that I have yet to find elsewhere.

If you like The Essex Green be sure to also check out The Ladybug Transistor, which share a love of 60's pastiche and the lovely vocal talents of Sasha Bell.
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Format: Audio CD
The alternating tracks of male and female vocals add a nice diversity to these beautifully played 1960's-esque tracks. Both lead singers can actually sing without being "helped" by studio filters. Finely written lyrics (which are sometimes gently ironic, sometimes wistful, and sometimes upbeat) really bring this CD to the fore of what I'm listening to right now. It is a pleasant and rare surprise that every track is great. It might remind one of The Decemberists, but the quality of every track makes this band stand on its own.
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Format: Audio CD
This is just a flat out irresistible album! And I have Amazon to think for it. I had never heard of Essex Green until it popped up in my Recommended for You page on Amazon. I did some research, discovered that they specialize in Chamber Pop and decided to give the album a listen. I generally ignore the Amazon recommendations since most of them are for things I already have or things I would never want, but in this case I was utterly pleased.

Since I knew nothing about the band, I did some reading on the Internet. Several of the members appear to be in more than one band together, including Ladybug Transistor, another band I plan on checking out. Musically it is pop, but sometimes it sounds more like folk, sometimes like paisley rock. "Don't Know Why (You Stay)" reminds me a lot of the power pop of The Primitives. But regardless of how you classify these songs, they are just great. There honestly isn't a bad cut on the disc and several are absolutely outstanding. The band features two lead singers, Christopher Ziter and Sasha Bell. Though one is male and one female, their voices have many of the same qualities, blessed with a wonderfully woody, nasal tone. While Ziter is a very fine vocalist, I just adore Sasha Bell's voice. She imbues every line she sings with a lackadaisical nonchalance that I find utterly seductive. Though the vocals stand out throughout the album, the playing is also first rate and infectious.

But what really makes this a fine album is the great set of songs. Like most CDs, the best songs tend to be crowded near the beginning of the disc. Back in the days of LPs you got a very different spacing of strong songs. Most albums tended to start off with a great song and then put another as the final track of the A-Side.
Read more ›
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