Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody is an ambitious fellow. Within ten months, the Reindeer Section recorded a second album, Son of Evil Reindeer, to follow up the critical indie hit Y'All Get Scared Now, Ya Hear! Again, Lightbody gathered some of his Scottish musical mates like Eva's Jenny Reave, Arab Strap's Aidan Moffat, and Richard Colburn and Mick Cooke of Belle & Sebastian, but added Roddy Woomble (Idlewild), Eugene Kelly (Eugenius, the Vaselines), and Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub) to the musical fray, for a total of 27 artists. Son of Evil Reindeer is an emotional album, far more somber and inquisitive. Lightbody looks into the mind's spiritual journeys and derives a glowing batch of songs. The inner beauty of Scotland can be heard throughout Son of Evil Reindeer, but the Reindeer Section focus on human conditions. Lightbody's low, glassy vocals sweep over the coolness of "Grand Parade" and "Budapest." The charming vocal combo of Kelly, Blake, and Reave breathes a freshness on "Strike Me Down," but pure pop bliss stretches further on the countrified romp of "You Are My Joy." Moffat is a muzzy, slick vocal crooner on "Whodunnit?," making this track the album's golden moment. The Reindeer Section are clever in their use of intricate instrumentation, making the lo-fi sketch of Son of Evil Reindeer sound more cohesive. It's sun-kissed with love-themed songs, and Lightbody should be applauded. His musical vision combines simple, charming melodies and threads of brass and electronica. It's a magical formula. His songwriting, too, has shaped into a delightful book of discovery. Indie pop fans, brace yourselves for a daydream trip.
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AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson