With one quick glance at the masquerade ball on the cover of the Echo Orbiter's sophomore CD, Laughing All the While, and with one quick listen to the rollicking pop sounds on the album, a trend in indie rock becomes clear. Led by the likes of Apples in Stereo, Olivia Tremor Control, and the Echo Orbiter, it's become clear that unabashedly playful music has an audience. The first track instantly introduces the listener to the band's chaotic and orchestral brand of pop, with a heavy emphasis on organ. The album is instantly bright-sounding, complete with offbeat noises on "Silence the Little Sparkle Girl." Each track seamlessly flows into the next, creating an epic feel as opposed to the normal song-silence-song sequence of most CDs. It's clear that the album was created and fully realized as an album, as opposed to the collection of demos on their first CD. The song titles alone have raised a few eyebrows (with titles like "Melody to Accompany a Stroll Through a Park" and "Hey Mr. Moonman"), and it's no wonder that the band coordinated a tribute to the Monkees' CD on their label, Looking Glass. The uninhibited playfulness of the Monkees has clearly influenced the Echo Orbiter. The cuckoo-clock intro to the CD's closer, "She Seldom Joked," introduces the joyous end to the disc. The CD is nothing if not colorful, with equally colorful music and artwork. A comic book-like story inside the CD only adds to the allure. Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys quickly come to mind, and it is clear that the Echo Orbiter's musical confidence continues to grow.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer