Customer Reviews: Ode To Sunshine
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4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on September 8, 2008
Delta Spirit rocked my socks off when they opened for Matt Costa at the El Rey back in May. I like to think of them as a mash up between Bob Dylan and a grunge band. It's rootsy folk with a garage band edge. Take a listen to the soaring melody and the raucous rhythm of "Trashcan." Or the captivating melody and lyrics of "Strange Vine." And "People, Turn Around" is Dylan-esque with harmonicas and all. If you want to hear more, which I know you will, they released an EP that you can find on the internet (from which they transplanted "Streetwalker," which was not on the original release of Ode to Sunshine). It has a different sound than Ode to Sunshine, reminiscent of The Strokes. On KCRW's website, you can watch a live in studio performance. Matt Vasquez's voice is amazing. I hope this band sticks around for a long time.
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on May 5, 2008
This album is mind-boggling and should be winning awards! I saw Delta Spirit open for Matt Costa and expected a mediocre opening act. Instead, I was knocked off my feet right when they stepped onto stage. Their strong stage presence only adds to the fantastic music they create. From that night forward I honestly haven't taken their cd out of my player and they are definitely one of my top 5 favorite bands.

Not one song on this album misses its mark. Truly a band on its way to great things!
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on October 13, 2008
Energy is one thing Delta Spirit decidedly does not lack. From the opening campfire sing-a-long of "Tomorrow Goes Away" to the brisk bar band vibe of single "Trashcan" to singer Matthew Vasquez's unique, soulful howl, Delta Spirit is a band that cares about making impressively inspired music. Showing a fondness for American roots rock that wasn't apparent in the band members' previous noise punk work, Ode To Sunshine succeeds on Vasquez's unquestionable passion and the musicians' creative arrangements, and fails on those songs that don't play to those strengths.

"Trashcan," the first fully developed song on the album, is the sort of accomplishment that Delta Spirit spend the rest of the album trying to live up to. A lively rocker that propels itself on a ragtime piano melody and Vasquez's ragged voice, it wouldn't sound out of place blaring out of some desert saloon. The rhythm section is tight and the climactic choruses are what make rock great, all tinkly piano and a dirty guitar as Vasquez cathartically wails "my love is coming, I can barely hardly wait around." If you ever needed a more fitting definition of immediacy, you have one now.

Delta Spirit keeps the vigor up on following track "People C'mon," a track that relies on Vasquez's powerful vocals to support it even more so than "Trashcan", and he steps up to the plate admirably. The band shifts down a few gears on the slow strummer "House Built For Two," a song that succeeds on a beautiful piano melody and some of Vasquez's most heartfelt lyrics. You can practically picture a drunken, bearded piano man straight out of the Depression-era West belting this out to the equally drunk patrons.

After the following "Strange Vine," a solid mid-tempo rocker with a shuffling beat and some fine drum work, however, the second half of Sunshine tends to lessen up on the gas pedal. "People, Turn Around" is slow, country-ish anti-war ballad that still works based on its Dylanesque vibe, but "Parade" is a thumping rocker that never really picks up any major steam and never really rides away in an interesting direction, instead eating itself up in a standard instrumental freakout.

Vasquez's lyrics also become more and more preachy as the album continues, particularly with the sentimental "Children," and while "Bleeding Bells" is the kind of acoustic solo you would expect Vasquez to sing, it pales in comparison to the excitement and urgency of their more fleshed-out songs.

Luckily, Delta Spirit are the kind of band that has promise galore, as epitomized by the entire first half of Sunshine and the closing title track, a piano-stomping tune of musical optimism praising the good gospel of good ole American rock `n roll. In Delta Spirit's universe, melody and talented songwriting are their God and Jesus, and Vasquez and mates are their priests.
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on December 27, 2012
I fell in love with a few songs from Delta Spirit on Youtube, so i bought their first full length album, "Ode to Sunshine" which has become one of my favorite albums of all time. (On the short list with a few albums from Pink Floyd, Foo Fighters, etc). Delta Spirit is both old-school and new school: While they dont seem to be virtuosos on their instruments, you wont miss it: the music they put together is wonderous and hits you right in the heart. Fresh musical ideas roll one after another on just about every song on this album (with the possible exception of the beatle-esque Tommorrow Goes Away, which is not my favorite Delta Spirit song). Every other song on this album is, to me, pure genius.

This album is also superbly recorded, revealing Matthew Vasquez voice in all its raw glory.
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on June 15, 2011
I come from Ireland, Ive been living in the States for 10 years. Im a bit snobby about the music I like. Basically I like UK and Irish bands, I feel the music has so much more depth in recent (20 years, apart from Pearl Jam and Nirvana) times than American music. So im on vacation in Ireland and I hear a song on the Radio, it immediately grabs me. Wanting to know who it is and also wanting to know if Shazam works abroad :) i click the listen button, it shoots back "People turn Around" by "Delta Spirit". Who? Never heard of them!, MUST be some UK band that Iam now so out of touch with that I would never hear cause I live in the States.....WRONG!...WRONG......WRONG!!!!!!
Turns out Delta Spirit are from California. So in my snobbery I cynically bought the album thinking thats probably the only decent song.........I stand here before you to say, I was a fool (in many ways)

How can I describe this album?....well in a few words....IT ENDS TOO SOON!
I cant remember an album that had so many instant YES moments. YES! thank good for great music moments!
This is an AMAZING Album that should be picked up straight away.

My prejudice is gone! AMAZING FROM BEGINNING TO END!

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on March 20, 2012
This band should be getting more air time. Absolutely amazing. Ode was my first jump into the Delta Spirit and I have not looked back once. I highly recommend this CD (and the band). Great songwriting, great arrangement and delivery, great sense of creative anticipation for what brings a song together making it standout while leaving the listener wanting future spins. It's really raw Americana 101, perfectly balancing urgency and intelligent sensitivity. Whether it be the vocals, instrumentation, lyrics, or general vibe, it kicks with a mind for respecting the listener with full delivery of heart, a wanting foot stomp, and attention to developed songs (vs. fun ideas). Many in the indi world tend to pretend, often throwing out incomplete ideas. These guys really deliver, always looking for ways to take a tune to the next level, creating something unique and thoroughly entertaining. No laziness here. Amazing that they haven't hit mainstream.
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on November 17, 2007
I saw them play at the Maxwell's and they were awesome! I bought this album and I listen to it on my car on the way to work pretty much everyday. I love this album and I'm going to buy their others ones...
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on February 21, 2012
This album is amazing, no idea why these guys haven't broken bigger yet. If you like the Kings of Leon, you'll love Delta Spirit. 'Trashcan' is a classic song, and 'People C'mon' is another catchy hit-in-the-making. Also, see these guys live if you get a chance, you won't be disappointed.
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I am a recently new convert to Delta Spirit having first got `History From Below' and was quietly impressed. This however has moved me a whole lot more. This is one of those albums that has a cohesiveness that means the whole ensemble fits together.

The band is a four piece from Long Beach California who The Times said play `rough and ready bar room pop and alt country'. They are renowned too for being multi instrumentalists - Kelly Winrich being the main man on this front. There are so many textures and sounds that you have to concentrate to get the full benefit.

On track 4 `House built for two', there is what sounds like milk or beer bottles being banged at off times and this is a lament so the added acoustics of a forlorn bar really works. There are balalaikas a plenty or mandolins, I can't figure but love them both and a great piano riff on `Strange Vine', which is one of the stand out tracks.

Mathew Vasquez has one of those gravely voices that is still clear and resonant and adds to the pure and raw emotion of the songs. Stand out tracks have to be `People turn around' and `Streetwalker'. This is one of the albums that I keep coming back to and it seems to grow on me more each time. Also recommended is the recent collaboration with `Deer Tick' and `Dawes' in the shape of `supergroup' - `Middle Brother'. Alt country has found a new guardian in this gifted and brilliant quartet.
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on March 9, 2009
You'll love this album whether you're by yourself or with a group. It's feel good, but it rocks, but it broods, but it makes you want to shake your body to the beat.

Delta Spirit sounds like one more example of what happens when hipster kids find out they need to add more alt-country to the rockin' mix. And for that, I love it, because it rocks something new.

I don't have comparisons for you, because I listen to all kinds of music. I bought this at the same time I picked up a couple of Miles Davis albums and the new Animal Collective album, which is my first of their work. Maybe Delta Spirit is something like Wilco, 10 years younger, after they'd been listing to Arcade Fire, the Eastern Conference Champions, and two Kings of Leon songs.

Just buy it.
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