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Cantinero

Better for the Metaphor

(Tinkle Tone; US: 5 Nov 2008)

Better for the Metaphor was rated by NPR as one of the more notable albums to come out in 2008. The album is a roots-y, yet lush, series of songs that resemble XTC circa Apple Venus Vol. 1. Everything is built around the melody, with delayed, layered harmonies. This is the case on “My House” which comes to the fore brilliantly. From there lead singer/mastermind Christopher Hicken opts for a groovy, dark “Go Getter” that gets going from the get go. From the onset, everything is fair game, so Cantinero moves effortlessly from airy pop to almost ambling stage musical fodder on “Goodbye Life”. Although “Selfish” takes a bit longer to get into, Cantinero manages to steer the song in a strong direction, albeit one which singer-songwriters have done to death for decades. Fans of The Fray would also probably lap up “Lights Went Out”. And if that’s not enough, Hicken seals the deal with the Crowded House-ish “Thinner”.

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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