The Chrysler

Failures and Sparks

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The Chrysler's debut disc, Failures and Sparks, is a low-key gem that impresses musically and connects emotionally with those who love vaguely country-ish songs with lovely vocals, sparkling instrumentation, and sweetly insinuating hooks. The band sports two songwriters and singers, Pelle Lindroth and Anders E. Rudstrom, with strong and distinctive voices and styles who have obviously studied their masters (Neil, Dylan, the Band) but never imitate them. Leadoff track "What I Must Keep with Mine" sets the stage with swooning vocal harmonies, melancholy lyrics, and glockenspiel. The rest of the album rarely veers from this stellar beginning, mixing lovelorn ballads ("When Sarah Came to Town," "Ring of a Bell," "Yours Sincerely"), rollicking, almost bluesy numbers ("Along the Freefall"), graceful chamber pop ("Wounded Night"), and intimate rockers ("Damn Straight Evil," "Revolution #1"). At its best the album has a quiet epic quality to it, a sort of mellow grandeur that serves as a welcome contrast to bands like Coldplay and Snow Patrol who seem to be coming from a similar angle but overplay and overblow every last note. The Chrysler underplay every note beautifully. The American release of the record includes five shimmering acoustic songs that mostly strip away the instrumentation that bolsters the album proper and demonstrate that the band has a solid core that doesn't need much bolstering to be wonderful. Stack these songs up against the best of the "quiet is the new loud" crowd like Kings of Convenience and you'll find them just as good. Failures and Sparks is light on the former and heavy on the latter and is a truly auspicious debut.

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