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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Go to the Little Wings website  Little Wings - Wonderue [K Records - 2002]

After really enjoying The Microphones’ last album, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Phil Elvrum was involved with this Little Wings disc. It’s hard to know exactly how much of this album is attributable to Mr. Elvrum’s (or how much of the Microphones albums were influenced by Little Wings main man Kyle Field) but both bands share a certain sonic signature and fans of one should definitely check out the other.

Wonderue is a proud piece of west coast Americana culture. When the album gets intimate, which is often, with only stripped down guitars, a naked voice and sparse percussions, you can almost see a man in front of you with an old broken down guitar and worn out shoes (and on “Treat it Kind” you can almost picture Neil Young singing). There are also songs that could be called lo-fi pop (ie. When You Know Love, I Saw Reflections) and sometimes there’s even some country styled crooning (ie. Filled With Wonder); but the fun thing is that, even though it is mostly acoustic, the album is filled with clever production tricks and it sounds like they recorded the instruments in different ways on nearly all the songs; they also had fun with the song arrangements with some songs having piano, xylophone, old analog synthesizers, drum machines, hand-clapping, horns, etc. What you get is an ever-changing album where the production is custom made to serve the song instead of just being a faceless job. It all sounds very modern and yet there is a vintage and traditional element present.

Filled with surprises, this album is the antithesis of monotony and clocking at 42 minutes with hardly a weak song in sight, I can recommend it wholeheartedly to anybody who’s interested by the above description.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

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