Moses Campbell “And It’s Over 1″
(From Who Are You? Who Is Anyone? out now on olFactory Records)
It’s rare for an album to skirt corniness on its way towards moving your soul: think the Beach Boys’ Smile, or Paul McCartney’s Ram. Though Moses Campbell’s debut makes use of Ram’s “same song, different approach, multiple times” technique, Moses Campbell is far zanier than a post-Beatles uke song—more like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah as covered by the Pogues, or the Polyphonic Spree on “Sesame Street” talking Kermit out of jumping off a rainbow. Glorious themes of teen suicide and tragic breakups abound, yet things never get too dark—there’s always a chiming glockenspiel or clean accordion line to cheer your soul, and a gang o’ boys to chant the choruses with you. This music feels so warm and participatory, even during the bleakest lyrics thrown at you. In fact, after listening to the album for weeks on end, I find myself craving a little more alone time with the words, and it’s the introspective album cuts I keep skipping ahead to—in particular, the Paul Baribeau-styled “Wallflower,” a second-person plea to a depressed shut-in genius. I also love the only track where multi-instrumentalist Daniela Jimenez gets a chance to sing and write: “Saturday”—a tender teen-love duet that nearly made this ol’ boy cry. But don’t want to cry? Don’t worry. Upbeat songs like “And It’s Over 2” and “Ugly” will stay in your rotation until crystalline brainwave signals put iPods out of business.