Burnside Project

The Finest Example Is You

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The Burnside Project is Richard Jankovich, Gerald Hammill, and Paul Searing, a trio of popsmiths mixing electronic rhythms and catchy melodies. Originally a duo featuring Jankovich and Hammill, the group released its debut, The Networks, the Circuits, the Streams, the Harmonies, on Bar/None in 2003. In the fall of 2005, the band expanded with the addition of Searing and released The Finest Example Is You. Perhaps the best description of the music the Burnside Project makes is that it's the kind of pop music that you can also dance to. Propulsive techno beats fuel "Our Surprise Decision," creating an infectious rhythm and a big sound. Even the quieter, mellower pieces like "Just Drop Off" (the kiss-off chorus will remind one of Ben Folds Five) switch to a full flood of guitar, heavy bass, and synthesizer here and there. The Burnside Project's vocal approach likewise builds on Jankovich's lead to create a bigger soundscape by combining various voices into a hypnotic wash. The addition of Shannon McArdle's harmony on five of the album's tracks further emphasizes this element. While The Finest Example Is You is mostly an upbeat project, the Burnside Project also delves into moody songs like "Cynical Weathers" and "Another Way." With a big sound and good material, The Finest Example Is You is a worthy sophomore effort.

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