Granfaloon Bus

Sleeping Car (Schlafwagen)

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Poetry is a word that should almost never be used with rock music. There is so much trite and/or pretentious music that has been deemed as such that the word poetry has been demeaned. That being said, Granfaloon Bus have succeeded where so many have failed: combining intelligent, poetic lyrics with rock music. Musically, the songs all have an intimate, familiar quality. The arrangements tend to be folky and acoustic guitar-driven, with Ajax Green adding tasteful and appropriate electric guitar accompaniment. The straightforward structure of the songs belies the depth of the lyrics. Each song could exist as a poem completely divorced of the musical backdrop. This is not elitist, formulaic poetry; it's open-ended, thought-provoking free verse. Felix Costanza paints with his words, but never really paints the full portrait, leaving plenty of space for interpretation. These fragmentary sketches never seem abstract, although there is rarely anything resembling a straightforward narrative. The apparent ease with which Costanza weds his words with hummable, familiar-sounding tunes is remarkable. This record has it all coming together for Granfaloon Bus: a batch of intelligent, thought-provoking songs from Costanza, great playing by the band, and excellent recording and production courtesy of the band and San Francisco's Greg Freeman. Sleeping Car is an outstanding record by a band that has really hit its stride.

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