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Northern Portrait

The Fallen Aristocracy

(Matinee Recordings; US: 1 Apr 2008; UK: Available as import)

If you enjoy smart Australian pop or a group like The Smiths, then you’ll love Northern Portrait. Not that they’re British or even Australian, in fact they’re from Denmark. But they have an ear for catchy, jangle-y melodies that are aplenty such as during the gorgeous “Crazy”—which also resembles The Go-Betweens to a certain extent. At the same time, the equally punchy and well-crafted “A Quiet Night in Copenhagen” shines and is a real stunning piece of work. The only snag with this effort overall is it’s just too damn short at four songs and just over 10 glorious minutes. If you need more proof of this beauty then give “Waiting for a Chance” a spin or two, a nugget along the lines of Crowded House or Morrissey. The chipper closer and the title track, “The Fallen Aristocracy”, sounds like something Robert Smith concocted à la “Friday I’m In Love”.

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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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1 Apr 2010
Northern Portrait likes the Smiths.
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