Beautiful Things (Ogv)


aec.phfi529836.1 1/17/12 New
ID: aec.phfi529836.1


    Beautiful Things (Ogv) ADA / Photo Finish Records

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Review Text Philly renaissance man Anthony Green already had a considerable résumé by the time he decided to embark on a solo mission with 2008's Avalon. As frontman for Circa Survive, Green toned down the screamo/hardcore roots of some of his earlier projects into a more darkly shrouded indie sound, and under his own name, Green notches down the tumult even further. While opting for an overall gentler hipster singer/songwriter bent, Beautiful Things still sees Green's battle with his eclectic impulses play out song to song. Some baseline elements run through almost all 13 tracks. High-gloss production, dynamic instrumentation, and spirited performances help the songs jell into an easily digestible album of accessible melodies and folky pop. Joyous and breezy numbers like "Just to Feel Alive" and "Moon Song" make the most of Green's impeccable vocal harmonies, steeped in classic Beatles-worship influence but coming off like a strange hybrid of Brendan Benson and Connor Oberst. When Green experiments with subtle genre twisting, however, his songs come off a little scattered. Interviews around the time of the album's release found Green referring to big life changes between Avalon and Beautiful Things; getting married, having a kid and, choosing to kick prescription medication for his mental maladies. It's no doubt these changes left the new family man with a lot on his mind, and the dizzying sonic landscape of Beautiful Things reflects that. Green finds the most success when speaking directly to his muse in as simplified a language as possible. Stripped-down tracks like "James' Song" and beautiful album closer "Lullaby" are loving odes to his newborn son, and these uncluttered moments are the most fulfilling on the album. ~ Fred Thomas

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