[29 September 2006]
Brothers Casey and Jesse Cooper are capable illusionists. They want you to believe in the majesty of Decades, the debut album from their band, the Receiver. Their brand of indie chamber pop is airy, almost shapeless at times. Casey’s breathy tenor, not unlike David Gilmour’s, closely follows his melodies, floating along as an understated element in a baroque mix that includes his bass and keyboards, Jesse’s drumming, French horn from Lindsay Ciulla, and the many strings of Anthony Rogers. Fortunately, the music is quite pretty, an artful post-rock with a throwback indebtedness to the Alan Parsons Project. And it might be for the best that Casey’s lyrics aren’t at the fore. Although not amateurish, Cooper’s vague wanderings through his existential angst betray his youth. “In Tunnels” is a metaphor. “Waves” is a metaphor. “Goliath”, too, is probably a metaphor. I’m not sure which giant foe Casey/David is battling here, but Columbus, Ohio’s the Receiver deal primarily in broad, impressionistic sweeps, anyway. If you need delineations, hard angles, straightforward declarations, then this album isn’t made for you. But, if you can let go and float along with the Cooper brothers, their Decades is a lovely little escape.