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Awoo by The Hidden Cameras

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Reviewed on 2nd November 2006.



By The Hidden Cameras

Awoo, the third album from Canadian oddball folk-rock types The Hidden Cameras continues on a similar musical, a lyrical exploration as previous albums Smell of our own(2001), and Eco Homo(2003). Tales of homosexual desire, sex and loss blended with the anthemic musical backing-similar to peers Arcade Fire and label mates Broken Social Scene, The Hidden Cameras have always been an interesting proposition.

Awoo starts abruptly with the folk-rock infused Death of a Tune. This is an interesting choice as opening as I feel it doesn't lead well into the rest of the album.

Title track Awoo summarizes the album far better for me, with its beautiful harmonies and rich instrumental textures coming from the 13 members which make up the band. The song is so fragile and yet so lyrically powerful and compelling. The xylophone backing really adds a beautiful tone and quirky edge to the song, especially once the strings kick in on the chorus sections.

Similarly, standout tracks such as lollipop and Hump from Bending continue the quirky edge, with far more reliance on the soaring strings sections which really makes The Hidden Cameras stand out from the crowd of similar bands from the Canadian scene.

During Wandering The Hidden Cameras change direction slightly, sounding similar to The Flaming Lips. Joel Gibb Single lines such as "I Had this feeling of Life, Wanders... I'll feel the need to confide, with only my eyes". The lyrics are far less obvious and more open to listener interpretation than previous The Hidden Camera Albums.

For me the real let down of the album is in the lack of direction in a lot of the tracks. Lush melodic verses seem to lead to far too simplistic choruses, or know chorus at all such as For Fun or Heji.

Overall though I highly recommend this album for those who like their music quirky and fun.



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