Arnold

Bahama

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Symphonic, melodic, and hypnotic, it takes precisely 33 seconds into the opening cut, "Climb," for Arnold's symptomatic Wall of Sound to wash ashore in a wave that would lull Brian Wilson out of bed. Confidently withdrawn into a melancholy world of their own, the triumvirate of Mark Saxby, Phil Payne, and Phil Morris have created a somnambulistic collection of low-key pleasantries which synthesize bits and pieces of psychedelia, folk, Baroque pop, and Brill Building songcraft. Though they're often compared to younger acts such as Travis and Radiohead, the members of Arnold are more likely to have experienced artists like Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, and assorted Phil Spector records first hand, which accounts for the ensemble's level of maturity on their third official release. Hidden underneath Bahama's hazy timbre are pulsing rhythms ("Easy"), glam overtones ("Tiny Car"), reverberant organs ("Jus de Lune"), and legato guitar phrases ("Other Son") all revealed at a leisurely pace. Bahama is a decidedly warmer record than its predecessor and musically it's more developed, as it showcases the group's interplay, harmonies, and musical dexterity.

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