Northern Chorus

The Millions Too Many

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Although A Northern Chorus have decided to edit themselves somewhat with this album, the standard three-minute pop song is not exactly part of the overall plan. Hushed, artsy, and smart, the band wastes little time making elegiac sounds on "Carpenter," which has lush orchestration. It also contains an adventurous feel that resembles similar Canadian bands like Arcade Fire and Rheostatics. Melodic almost to a fault, the songs sound like they are part of one journey, especially "Skeleton Keys," which creates a very warm, textured foundation. However, part of the danger with such a record is that the warmth slowly starts to rub off, as is the case with the decent but at times too tightly wound "No Stations." Fortunately, the song builds into another string-tinged bridge that explodes. The album's centerpiece, "The Canadian Shield," is another slow-building tune that is the album's highlight by far, resembling the Canadian equivalent of Sigur Rós. Dramatic without going over the top but with a certain bite and edge, the song's only sticking point is that it could go on for a few more moments rather than clocking in at five and a half minutes. Meanwhile, the hushed, soothing-cum-urgent "Ethic of the Pioneer" and "Remembrance Day" sound like they are just a bit too formulaic as the cello and violins are heard in the distance. While The Millions Too Many is an album that many will fall in love with and has some fleeting life-affirming moments, it's not entirely a jaw-dropping experience.

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