You know when you are a music-geek and want to punch yourself in the face? When you miss a new album by a pretty awesome band by TWO AND A HALF YEARS! I actually thought that I looked Celebration up regularly to see what this fantastic Baltimore-band is up to but apparently I didn’t (or I did and then blacked out…who knows.) Ok, so in 2011 (again, sigh, eye-roll, self-face-palm), they released “Hello Paradise – Electric Tarot” which – just as I am writing this – is being played and enjoyed so much that I feel a little sick. Back in the days – when “The Modern Tribe” (2007) was released – I compared them with TV and the Radio which fit a lot since both bands had this mixture of overwhelming soul-vocalists, global sounds and a very experimental alternative sound. They also worked together on and off stage, so the connection is not too hard to make.
Now, their current album (follow the link and you can download it for free) is marking a very own and unique sound. I always liked that Celebration are very bold in stylistic directions but still manage to sound beautiful. Experimental chaos and beauty don’t go together all too often but in this case, they make a great prom-date. “Hello Paradise” opens with a slightly Eastern sound (I am thinking of Led Zep’s “Kashmir” here) that pops up now and then but stays relatively subtle. They ditched some of the alternative edge from their previous album to add a little more soul and pop (using “pop” here as one of those people who also would call Zappa’s “Bobby Brown” a nice little pop-song) and dive into some retro-themes without letting go of their quite modern sound (does that make sense?).
The Hammond still has its place, as well as the dreamy sounds that made “The Modern Tribe” so darn amazeballs. “Open Your Heart” is yet another great 50s-inspired slow-dancing-tune that I always enjoy when done by bands who know how to put their own twist on it.
There is so much you can enjoy with this album, it’s like a gigantic wedding cake that you discover with a spoon…yeah, better work on my metaphors a little.
I’d like to post all songs of the album here, just to show all sides of them because right after “Shelter”, they belt out a fantastic rock hymn that actually has some Led Zep-quality to it but still keeps that hint of fuzz in the background only to break into a heart-pounding climax that already made 2007’s “Heartbreak” one of my all-time favourite songs that I actually HAVE to listen to every other month.
Here’s the genius of this band: They are experimental, they make gorgeous music, they are all seasoned musicians, they have a great sense of song-structure and they can fuse old-timey classic rock-themes with modern alternative sounds without sounding like carbon copies or over-ambitious hipsters. This band is a great example how to have your own sound and instead of changing it with every album, expanding it slowly, so their universe grows wider and wider until we can see everything, from the galaxies far away to the tiniest blood vessels in our pumping hearts.
Holy, even recorded with a potato this sounds awesome.
Oh, and to show that for once I am a little up to date, here is their new song which was released in September of this year.