Saturday, August 20, 2011

Imaginary Cities Welcomes Temporary Residents

I have to admit that two songs into Imaginary Cities album, Temporary Resident, I was losing hope of it being any good. But, and you knew there would be a but, somewhere around the middle of the song, “Hummingbird,” the album flourishes into something more than just another moody record; it actually becomes a rather good pop treat.

Made up of just two members, Imaginary Cities, are a dynamic duo that sound a lot larger than they actually are. This is pretty incredible when you realize that only one member, Rusty Matyas, plays 98% of the instruments (with a smattering of help for the other 2%) and still somehow manages to create this full sounding, larger than life record that owes some inspiration to Arcade Fire. Vocalist Marti Sarbit brings all home as she harmonizes with herself and adds the sugar on top of Matyas instrumentation.

While there are moments on Temporary Resident that left me a little bored, for the most part the record is an artistic, sweeping sort of affair that's elevated by Marti's unusual vocals. The band is particularly good when they sound like there are five or six members in the band and ramp up their pop sensibility. Whether it’s the up-front jumpiness of "Don't Cry," or the slow build of, "Purple Heart," Temporary Resident is an interesting listen that proves two is company...even if it sounds like six.

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