Drum Solo on the Bumpers

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Florida's second and final release, Drum Solo on the Bumpers, continues where their first LP, Golden Sun Songbook, left off, by making a few improvements. The impressionistic lyrical imagery and brilliant songwriting are still intact, as are the inspired performances, but the album boasts a more polished studio sound than its predecessor. The band also laid off of the brass flourishes of their first album in favor of vibraphones and organs, which were expertly integrated into Florida's singular style. Even after making these adjustments, the aforementioned "style" remains more of a personality than a sound, an entity greater than the sum of the band's four parts, which is, to some extent, malleable. To wit, the songs that make up Drum Solo are world-wearier than those on Golden Sun Songbook, the feeling of which, oddly enough, contributes to the feel-good quality of the album -- it's confident and redemptive. With only two albums recorded and released in four years, fans of the band will always be pining away for a new record. In the end, Florida expertly employed the first golden rule of rock & roll -- always leave them wanting more.

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