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Walking With the Beggar Boys

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 6, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Elf Power's latest album, "Walking with the Beggar Boys", marks a definite change in sound and style for Athens,Georgia's underground cult favorites. New members Eric Harris (formerly of The Olivia Tremor Control on guitar) and Craig McQuiston (formerly of the Glands on bass) join longtime members Andrew Rieger (singer/songwriter), Laura Carter (multi instrumentalist) and Aaron Wegelin (drums), reinventing the band both musically and lyrically on their sixth release.

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With a decade under their belts, the sixth album by the Athens, Georgia-based band Elf Power marks a bit of a change and expansion in their sound. With new members on board (Eric Harris formerly with Olivia Tremor Control, and Craig McQuiston from the Glands), the quintet moves easily from straight ahead, if slightly-fractured rockers, to fine slices of cerebral sonics. The title track, with guest Vic Chesnutt on hand for duet vocals, sounds as rooted in southern Americana as R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" (a band with whom they've toured, besides sharing a hometown). Elsewhere, "Evil Eye" chugs along like a more rural T. Rex, and "The Cracks" revels in mechanized rhythm tracks and eerily nostalgic synth runs. Throughout, they never lose track of their vital core interplay, celebrating the fine little engine that they are at all times. That the range of Elf Power is so broad comes as little surprise, given their past approaches, as well as their previous affiliations (muti-instrumentalist Laura Carter was a member of Neutral Milk Hotel). --David Greenberger
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 6, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Orange Twin
  • ASIN: B0001KL5G2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #539,761 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Roger E. Hartley on April 20, 2004
Format: Audio CD
"Beggar Boys" has been reviewed by others as a change in direction by Elf Power, but EP fans know that this record exemplifies a long evolution of a veteran band that bridges many genres of rock with albums that blend psych-pop, punk, power pop, and genuinely nice ballads. This album has many incredible pop songs including "Never Believe", "Hole in my Shoe", and "Don't let it be." Not to be missed is the title track, which includes a guest appearance by songwriter/legend Vic Chesnutt. The title and Chesnutt appearance make you think "ballad" but you get a fun, poppy, sleazy little number that makes you want to sing it. "Drawing Flies" is also a Sleazy/70s/glammy rock kind of T-Rex hit...a MUST listen.
Many indie rock bands are born, live, and die, but the "Beggar Boys" album made me think of Elf Power as a sophisticated group that has gone beyond existing on imagination and weirdness alone. They continue to learn, experiment, and write excellent songs. They are not growing...but have grown..and they are in it for the long haul.
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Format: Audio CD
Surprisingly enough, one of my favorite albums of 2004. I'd always viewed Elf Power as strictly second-tier among the ranks of the neo-pop-psychedelia bands under the Elephant 6 collective umbrella. They lacked the sheer pop chops of Apples in Stereo, the psychedelic craftsmanship of Olivia Tremor Control, and the lyrical intensity of Neutral Milk Hotel. But with most of those bands long gone, Elf Power rises to the occasion with a straightforward glam-infused rock album. Gone are the twisted, fantasy-infused story-songs of recent releases, and the lo-fi sonic meanderings. This stuff is straight-out catchy with no apologies. The title track is one of those riff-driven pop songs you can play 5 times straight and just keep going, and a few other songs come close. Any indie pop album that offers 4-5 tracks worthy of inclusion on your next upbeat mix tape is way ahead of the pack.
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By A Customer on April 14, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is a great album period. This is the first album I've heard by Elf Power and I think it's a great introduction to the band. The album reminds me of a mix between T Rex and Superchunk. There's not a bad track from beginning to finish and the guitars sound phenominal. Hands down one of the best albums of 2004.
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Format: Audio CD
Whoa! Listening to this CD reminds one of hearing Rubber Soul for the first time - sheer pop bliss and nary a clunker on it (OK -track 6- skip it) I mean this is a fantastic release. Who cares for ratings, best album of 2004? -hooey! Just listen to these ten precious songs - the title cut maybe the best thing I've heard since 'me and mia' by the king Ted Leo...anyway the Elephant 6/Orange Twin thing can be a bit redundant, but this is a real masterpiece - Andrew and his fellow elves get much credit to this outstanding addtion to an already wonderful collection of songs/albums.

Get it.
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