Mark Robinson

Canada's Green Highways

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Mark Robinson certainly had his work cut out for him after coming off of one of 2000's best indie pop records. He set a standard in that vein of music with the numerous releases that he put out under many guises on his own Teenbeat label. America's Green Highways is no different in that Robinson maintains a very high level of sophistication for a style of music that is viewed by many as disposable. This record is more complex than the previous year's Tiger Banana as Trevor Kampmann oversees production duties here. Known for his brilliant low-tech electro as Holland, Kampmann lends a conservative yet experienced hand in the crisp final product. One can sense his presence on tracks like "100% Guaranteed" where a cheap drum box provides the backing beat to Robinson's cool and passionate vocals. Though these lyrics are not quite as personal as usual, Robinson seems a bit more at ease on this record and takes more chances instrumentally. While the odd track may resemble Tiger Banana's four-chord, stark, skeletal song structures, Robinson has found a perfect pop formula not unlike Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys' and he truly makes it sound easier than it really is.

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