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Calliope | (In)Organics (Thick Records)
Maybe it's the flat Michigan landscape that inspired the expansive musical journey Calliope take you on right from the opening of this, their 3rd, album. Did You Get What You Came For? kicks into a groove that Cornershop couldn't find, even with Norman Cook. Oh My God follows and that'll be your exclamation as the scale of the record starts to unfold with its strangely panned and phased guitars and vocals chugging around a simple beat, but this is just a warm up for Star. A breathy voice sighing 'oh no, we're falling' as guitars collapse and the crushingly sad weight of it turns to black hole proportions when the trumpet glides in. Now you know the reason for the midnight blue and silver sleeve, this album sounds like a night sky. 'What!?!' you cry.... Well, it does, that stillness of a summer evening and the heavy quiet, it's here, captured on cd. Just look up as every track piles on the wonder with understated arrangements, allowing it to breathe and flow around you with guitars twinkling like the distant stars. Last Summer is as dark as the small hours, with chilling keyboards and spooky drums until She's Got the Way shows the first signs of dawn with bursting guitars. Told You So opens with 'well I heard the sun goes up' and it feels good to bask in its warm rays and laziness. The two closing instrumentals might have been better placed along the route, but Signals seems like a flashback to the previous evening, as if you're trying to remember every shooting star observed while in the morning shower. As the man sings 'if we all just pray, it's never going to end', or at least that they make a fourth album. Record of the year? Quite likely.

Laurence Arnold
CWAS #6 - Autumn 2000