Higher Burning Fire In Plain Song

It probably says something about the state of retro Britpop when one of the best albums of the genre to come out in many years is put out by a sextet from Kansas City, MI. With the exception of Radiohead's OK Computer or the first Oasis release, no album of the last ten years has captured the lush, textured glory of what was coming out of England in the post-Beatles '70s (10cc, Pink Floyd) as well as this record does. And far from contrived or derivative, In Plain Song is a homage to the era. It's a simple rock record filled with a dozen expressive songs that the band and producer Ed Rose, playing the role of an indie George Martin, have transformed into something complex and epic, with the addition of strings, horns, banjo, piano and myriad percussion doodads. You want to talk about indie or emo-rock with a difference? Start here. (Second Nature)