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CD Reviews: Review of Sun, Sun, Sun by The Elected
Thompson Home / CD Reviews Home / Entertainment Channel / Entertainment Web Guide

Click here to buy yourself a copy from Amazon.com The Elected: Sun, Sun, Sun  (Sub Pop 2006)

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It’s a crazy new decade, and the new generation of rock and roll children just don’t know how to mellow out anymore. Back in the ‘70s you could relax to some Bread or the Carpenters. In the ‘80s you had Air Supply. The ‘90s, of course, brought us the mellow-mellow vibes of Lisa Loeb. But now, in the new millennium, what can you chill to? Everyone’s searching for it, yet no one’s finding it. The days of Zamfir being peddled on TV are over, my friends, so instead here is an elixir you may find most comforting in those times when your ears just need to breathe deeply. Yes, it is the Elected, with their mellow pop goodness of Sun, Sun, Sun.

This band is fronted by Mr. Blake Sennett who knows a thing or two about the more rustic travels of making tunes. Performing in the group Rilo Kiley, he’s made a bit of a name for himself doing a variation on a semi lo-fi charming type of indie rock. With the Elected, the sound is more lush and shimmering. A nice varnish on top of delicate harmonies and serene melodic journeys that are this side of the Beach Boys and that side of pathos. You can hear it right from the start on the first short track, “Clouds Parting (8:14 A.M.),” a little taster of what’s to come.

Listening to Sun, Sun, Sun, I was reminded of a couple other bands and artists. The first was E, as in the former “A Man Called E” and the current leader of the Eels. Songs like “Fireflies in a Steel Mill” and “Not Going Home” have that winsome, pretty quality that E brought to the table on his terrific debut album, A Man Called E, recalling the charm of a song like “Are You and Me Gonna Happen?” The other group that came to mind was one you’ve perhaps not heard of named Champale, who are also keen on striking up a lush arrangement or two with horns and slightly pastoral sounds, as on a song like “Motel California.” In the Elected’s case, that sound would be struck upon in “Would You Come With Me” and “Sun, Sun, Sun.”

It’s all very nice and quite pleasant to the ears, but if there’s one problem with the album it’s that it’s perhaps a little too mellow. Not too mellow like an early Eagles album, but coming within a striking distance of that. Some folks really enjoy that sort of thing, and there is plenty to like on the disc, but it would also be nice to hear the Elected get a little punchier with it as well from time to time instead of just completely relaxing. It’s one of those situations where you feel like all the songs start running together and there isn’t much to distinguish themselves from one another.

Still, we can’t fault the band overall for doing what they do, and surely a song such as “Beautiful Rainbow” really works a special kind of magic when you hear it. Sun, Sun, Sun might not be the most eclectic sounding album out there, but the Elected have definitely created a formula that works. They would have fit in rather nicely back in the ‘70s, right between some Boz Scaggs and Foghat.

~Jason Thompson


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