[22 July 2008]
Noise or ambient rock can be a hit or miss affair. If it’s too arty then it just becomes pretentious to the listener who will often chuck it. But then again if it’s not too highbrow what’s the point. Park Avenue Music have found the proper balance on this album, starting with the gorgeous “Norway Kitty” which could have been placed on the soundtrack to either Babel or Lost In Translation and been a highlight on each. The thoughtful nature to most of the material is what draws you in, even if the “Palaces + Prisons” which has spoken word over it like some ambient homage to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of the Moon. Somber describes much of the album’s tone, with “Tufts” having a bit more dramatic flair or weight in the style of Portishead on a real downer. Although the sons occasionally go off on a tangent where they really shouldn’t like during the almost aquatic “Piet”, Park Avenue Music, led by Wes Steed and Jeannette “Juju” Faith, shine on the tranquil “Before”. And the record closes as sweetly as it began with “Japan Luvr”.