Published Dec 02, 2013What's immediately noticeable on Marley Carroll's latest LP, Sings, is the overwhelming comparison that can be drawn between it and Caribou's Swim. Sings capitalizes on its remarkable ability of sounding familiar, yet so completely unique at once, and while the album admittedly has an overall likeness akin to Caribou, you can't help but also hear traces of indie-alt band Afghan Whigs ("Fold Your Wings") or Gold Panda ("1985," "First Thought, Best Thought").
Sings plays with the concept of two sides, employing the light and the dark, which are linked by the interlude "1985." This division, however, is where the album falters. If we use this split to look at the album as two distinct halves, it's painfully evident the first half (the "light" half) is far superior, with its intricate carvings, melodic underpinnings and beautiful layering. The sublime, heady vocals of Miranda Rae on the exquisitely executed "Lossless" are enough to render the last handful of tracks inadequate and largely forgettable in comparison.
A stronger focus on the structured vocal tracks could have better served the album and added to its diversity, and based on tracks like "The Hunter" and "Speed Reader," Carroll does it well. Very well. (Melanaster Records)