Thursday, May 28, 2009

Review: The Campbell Strokes Sunshine Recorder "Makes Your Ears Smile"

The name of this "band", taken from a 19th century meteorological device used to quantitate sunshine, is quite a mouthful. But The Campbell Strokes Sunshine Recorder (let's call them CSSR for short, shall we?) isn't a "band" after all, but rather a one man recording project - none other than Andy Morten, whose had an extensive musical history collaborating and drumming for bands like The Nerve, Bronco Bullfrog, and Leonardo's Bicycle.

Ask Andy what CSSR sounds like and he'll reply, "Someone who can't actually sing or play any instruments properly and should have stayed behind his drumkit but has lots of lovely friends egging him on and wants to be the new Fairfield Parlour." After hearing his CD I'd have to argue his description is a tad too self-effacing! While the vocals are lightweight, he can certainly carry a tune that fits his brand of mellow pop very nicely, and the instrumentation is more than adequate.

"Makes Your Ears Smile" is all about optimism and lots of - yes, you guessed it - sunshine. In addition to naming his "band" after a sunshine recorder, "Makes Your Ears Smile" features song titles such as "She Looks Good In The Sun" and "Feel The Sunshine", making it clear that Andy is a morning person. The CD is brimming with such happy and gay pop that you are just waiting for tune about rainbows and unicorns to radiate from your speakers. The sunny songs mentioned above are indeed two of the highlights, and I'd add the catchy "Track One" and "You Can Make Me Smile" to that list, the latter being the closest CSSR comes to rocking out.

The CD will appeal to fans of Cherry Twister, The Merrymakers, and pagan Sun-god worshippers. Easy light pop to cheer up your day.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 6, 9

The Campbell Strokes Sunshine Recorder on MySpace.

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