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The Aluminium Group | Happyness (Wishing Tree)
Dedicated followers of the Chicago-based Aluminium Group will have noted with interest their development from an average lounge music group (1995's 'Wonder Boy') to this year's 'Happyness,' an altogether different entity. Brothers Frank and John Nevin have again assembled Chicago's finest in the studio, and John McEntire's influence on the proceedings is more apparent than ever. The ten tracks here are all built around McEntire's trademark percussion and Frank Nevin's always imaginative keyboard work, reminiscent of both McEntire's own Sea and Cake and vintage Steely Dan. As on 'Pelo' (2000), Rob Mazurek's cornet is prominent on many of the tracks, including Pop, Tiny Decision and Oxygen where the Nevins' new jazz leanings reveal themselves. This bodes well for the sequel ?? 'Happyness 2' is already scheduled for release at the end of the year. There's nothing wrong with being prolific when the end product is as good as this.

Torbjorn Wickman
CWAS #12 - Summer 2003