Little More Lived In

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Little More Lived In is Memphis-based Snowglobe's fourth regular album and first in four years, although it might be a little difficult to determine that by looking at their discography. First, there was Our Land Brains, released by Bardot Records in May 2002. Then, Snowglobe made a second album, Doing the Distance, finished in 2004 but not properly released due to Bardot's demise. With a move to Makeshift Music, the group released Oxytocin in July 2006. In 2007, the St. Ives label issued a collection of B-sides and demos, Me and You, and Makeshift finally gave a belated release to Doing the Distance that August. In May 2009, there was an EP, No Need to Light a Night Light on a Night Like Tonight. Over this time, the band has grown in personnel, after having started as a partnership between singer/songwriters Brad Postlethwaite and Tim Regan. The rhythm section of Brandon Robertson (bass) and Jeff Hulett (drums) is still in place, and the ambiguous annotations on the album mention "Luke" (White, who sings and plays guitar) and "Nahshon" (Benford, who plays trumpet and flute), while also noting apparently part-time members John Wittemore, Jonathan Kirkscey, and Mike Witzman, as Andrew Kosten's cover illustration displays the faces of nine people. Certainly, the music on Little More Lived In sounds like it might have taken a nonet to play. It may have taken quite a few to compose as well. Although Postlethwaite and Regan used to divide the songwriting between them, the uncredited songs here apparently drew in more writers. "This go around, the band made a concerted effort to get everyone represented as a songwriting presence," notes the album's press release. That said, there is still a core of surprisingly simple and direct expression on these pop songs, many of which essentially start with a sincere singer and an acoustic guitar. But that core has been heavily embellished in a manner reminiscent of the post-Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band era of 1967-1968 psychedelic pop when musicians strived to make every record sound different, employing every available studio gimmick. So, those vocals are compressed or otherwise filtered, stray sounds are added, and arrangements make abrupt shifts from one tempo, key, and instrumentation to another without warning. Horns and strings appear at odd moments, along with unidentifiable studio-created sounds. The overlay of effects threatens to swamp the music, but Snowglobe as usual still manage to make some appealing pop.

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