Gordon B. Isnor At Parties

Sometimes the best thing you can say about a party is that it was not boring. Fortunately, this is not the best thing that can be said about young Canadian singer/songwriter Gordon B. Isnor's At Parties. This album, far from being boring, showcases Isnor's seemingly endless ideas and talent. The first quirky folk songs seem to be in a similar vein as Rufus Wainwright, but this is only at the beginning. The album then jumps from quirky folk to lush ballads to Caribbean funk to electronic dance music and back again with a rare kind of effortless poise. The best songs have a reflective tone, as in "The Bathing Suit" or "Upper Canadian Home," but all 50 minutes of this record are well thought out and showcase the many facets of Isnor's abilities. Recorded in his Whistler bedroom, this EP has a strong home-made feel that adds to the intimate themes and lyrics. Isnor is flush with talent, layering his song with pennywhistles, synthesisers and subtle keyboards but still keeping the soul of the songs alive with simple rhythm guitar and straightforward lyrics. This album is at once fun, serious, ridiculous and poignant. Most of all, it is a reminder that a head full of ideas beats a big recording studio full of half-hearted musicians every time. (Independent)