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Baby Calendar

Gingerbread Dog

(Happy Happy Birthday to Me; US: 6 Jun 2006; UK: Available as import)

Sugar-coated pop is an acquired taste—you either like it or stick your tongue out at it as if you swallowed sour candy. Baby Calendar are sugar-coated pop, they make no bones about it. And it is terribly catchy if you’re fortunate enough to enjoy this style. The soaring, bombastic “Zipped Up” emerges in the vein of Rainer Maria before shutting down two minutes in. “Traffic in the Tropics” brings to mind Bishop Allen with a quirky arrangement which lends itself to a mellow New Pornographers as does “The Way of the Samurai”. Another highlight is the mid-tempo and meandering “Lunchbox” that works on many levels. They hit another gear with the pleasing yet intricate “Laboratories” although “Near the Shore” falls a bit flat. Fortunately the galloping “Cubicles, No Window” saves the day with a great backbeat before veering into a much tender format. (Psst, the hidden track is worth waiting for!)

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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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