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Surrounded

The Nautilus Years

(One Little Indian; US: 5 Jun 2007; UK: Unavailable)

How to describe the Swedish band Surrounded: Cure inspired; influenced by Sigur Ros and Coldplay; emotional, large-scale songs. Whether it is the maudlin but memorable Moz-like “21st Century Paradise Traveller” or “Safe Tomorrow Sun” which instantly brings to mind Sparklehorse with its epic, layered and textured vibe, Sourrounded melds the the mild with the melodramatic. The soft, hushed vocals complement the arrangements to a tee during “In Comfort’s Tight Clothes” and the mid-tempo, roots-tinged “Paper Tangerine Crush”, the greatest song with tangerine in the title you’ll ever hear. While there are some songs that will be heart-tugging, perhaps the highlight is the Floydian aura oozing out of “Fellow Citizen Stars” which brings to mind “Fat Old Sun” or “Saint Tropez”. However, the lengthy and ethereal “Human Pelagic” has a majestic, soaring coda and would please many. The only departure from this uplifting feel is the guitar-centric “Easy Piranhas”.

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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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