Marine Research

Sounds from the Gulf Stream

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There's something quite touching about Heavenly's decision to change its name after the suicide of Mathew Fletcher, given that their sound didn't change much at all; Sounds from the Gulf Stream picks up where Operation Heavenly left off, and provides more than enough of the gentle, bouncy, pop hookiness that makes all of Heavenly's work so lovable. Sounds, however, also demonstrates a huge development in the band's writing style; most of the album's tracks lay off of the direct, upbeat, '60s-inspired pop in favor of exploring atmospheric and (for the band) somewhat unconventional structures. When this newfound complexity and thoughtfulness works best, on tracks like "You and a Girl" or "At the Lost and Found," Marine Research manages to create tracks more artistically interesting than Heavenly's work, but without losing too much of the indie charm that inspired superb releases like Le Jardin de Heavenly.

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