The Silent Type

Of Writing/Of Violence

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Stark and bittersweet, the Silent Type live up to their name from the first few fleeting notes of "Kneel," evoking images of R.E.M. sitting around the studio trying to come up with another "Everybody Hurts." Led by the violin of Amber Blankenship, this is purely majestic, ethereal, and at times more accessible than something by Yo La Tengo or Sigur Rós. The vocals are hushed at times and downplayed in the song à la Knife in the Water, creating a rich, swaying, waltz-like feeling bound to put a smile on one's face. The strings grow as does the distant but frenzied, chaotic guitar solo, resulting in an extremely precious conclusion to an extremely precious track. From there they move into a rudimentary pop/rock format that again glides effortlessly. The song, which is called "Ink and Blood," seems to fall in line with the Replacements or Goo Goo Dolls. This album feels like it's made by a band that can do no wrong regardless of what they attempt -- everything turns up roses! A perfect example of this is the tender alt-country touches of "Soon Enough We'll Be Found Out" and later on during the stellar title track, recalling artists such as Neil Finn and Michael Penn. The Silent Type return to this format for another singer/songwriter jewel entitled "Vacant Hotel Lobby." The centerpiece, "Some Curious and Beautiful Maps" is a lush duet that features sweet harmonies and a soft, heartfelt melody as Nathan Altice adds harmonica. It's one of the few songs which the Arcade Fire would find themselves quite envious of. Veering between rock and roots is what the Silent Type excel at, judging by the laid-back attitude oozing from "The Gift" as a banjo and electric guitar battle for space. Concluding with a rather heady wall of sound for the closer, "Zeppelin," the Silent Type are equally adept at creating memorable songs whether soft or loud.

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