March 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Gardens & Villa – Dunes

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Gardens & Villa
Dunes
Secretly Canadian
Street: 02.04
Gardens & Villa = ’80s Jethro Tull + early-’80s Eurythmics
Much like their eponymous 2011 debut, the new Gardens & Villa album frequently combines lead singer and guitarist Chris Lynch’s flute playing with the synths of Adam Rasmussen that recalls the early-’80s styling of this amalgam, with mostly successful results. The flute is the first thing heard on opener “Domino,” and punctuates the accompanying music (generally played live by the band’s five members, without the use of programming) pleasantly. This fruition peaks potently on hip-swayer “Bullet Train,” then, interestingly, the ballad “Chrysanthemums” replaces the synths for Dustin Ineman’s keys, which is later repeated on “Minnesota.” But, wisely, producer Tim Goldsworthy (Cut Copy, Hercules & Love Affair) helps sway them to their groovier side, with the more upbeat “Echosassy” and “Avalanche,” respectively. Clearly the Sly and the Family Stone, custom-built Flickinger recording console he used in recording—as evidenced on “Thunder Glove”—still had some funk in it. –Dean O Hillis

 

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