It’s time for another moment with a specific sun-related band that I simply love too much. The Sun Sawed in 1/2 still remains as my most frequently listened band, and I don’t see a change coming any time soon.
Fizzy Lift (1997) is the ultimate Sun album. It is the band’s fourth full-length album. Bewilderbeest (2000) is surely amazing, it’s Slavic and a lot of other wonderful things, but you just can’t mess with Fizzy Lift…
Denny’s Girl is a solid opener, and it introduces the gorgeous saxophones right away. It’s a wonderful track that has excellent melodies and harmonies. Mary Celeste is also a really amazing tune. The happy chorus is so good that my words can’t describe how much I like it. Timpani Heart is one of the most overly sticky-sweet songs ever.. I simply love it. The sweeter, the better, you know.. Timpani Heart is a perfect example of the fact that it is impossible to write a power pop song that I would find too sweet.
Then comes Sing You Fast Alive, a song that is enough to sing me unconscious with delight.. The folky violins are exactly in the right place. They really give this song character. The melodies - pure perfection. As always, when it comes to this band, my biggest compliments go to the lead singer.. I doubt if any other singer could ever make this song sound sweeter.
Ten Ways Amazed is amazing. It’s a very sad song with extremely happy, loving lyrics – sounds like sort of a contradiction to me. The song is excellent. Annie Emptyhead is a special song because it’s basically the only Sun track I’ve never learned to love 100%. However, there’s nothing wrong with the song, it is very good. Sleepwalker and Dragonfly make a wonderful rocking song double. Both tracks are top class powerpop: energetic and happy, yet both contain some angst and melancholy.
Heart Is Dim is a song that seemed good already a year ago, but it didn’t become a favourite until recently. Almost all of these songs seem to become my favourites one after another. The truth is, however, that nearly every one of these songs is my favourite, I just keep forgetting it for some strange reason..
Four Letter Girl is basically too good to be true.. Such a wonderful track in every possible way. Brighter Than God’s Canary sounds like the weirdest song of the album. The wild and exciting arrangement creates a wonderfully psychedelic atmosphere. There are also a couple of very peaceful songs on the album: Starting to See and All Is Said Tonight, both great (surprise, surprise..).
The thing that keeps me so effectively attached to The Sun is the lead singer Doug Bobenhouse. He is a 100% confident singer. There really doesn’t seem to be anything he isn’t vocally capable of (except for singing badly, of course..). His vocal style is suitable for power pop in every way: it’s absolute sweetness added with a perfect portion of angst when needed. To me, the sound his voice is like chocolate. I never get tired of it, and it really is one of the greatest and most enjoyable things ever.
Doug sounds so much like Andy Sturmer.. It’s so cool! They should sing a duet.. Also, the former bands of both the guys should get back together, make new albums and come to Finland to play some gigs!
However, Bobenhouse is actually just a messenger (an AMAZING one..). I should praise the man who wrote most of these songs alone, and I do praise him: Tim Rose is a real hero. He has written some of the greatest modern pop songs and melodies I’ve ever heard (although I have to admit that I’m definitely not the right person to objectively assess his songwriting, since nothing about my attitude to The Sun Sawed in ½ is objective..). Tim Rose’s talent and work is not to be left unnoted.
This album (and generally this band) has changed much more in me than just music listening habits. I now have developed a huge love affair with wind instruments, especially saxophones.. And when it comes to singing voices, it has to be bright, happy and nasal – at least in order to become one of my favourites. So many great things bring The Sun to my mind these days.. I don’t know if I’ll ever find music that would please me as much as this does, music that feels so right and perfect all the time. However, saying this aloud might just lead me to find a new Sun tomorrow.. That would really be something but I don’t think it’s gonna happen.
While waiting for a new sun to rise, I’ll just listen to The Sun some more..
The Sun Sawed in 1/2 at MySpace