The Taby Tapes

Nanook of the North

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The Taby Tapes Review

by Tim Sendra

Nanook of the North's The Taby Tapes is a charming pop record, one of the more successful blendings of indie pop melody and electronic texture. The feel is post-Cardigans Sweden meets Sarah, and if that sounds good to you, this record is pure heavenly delight. Nanook handles the bulk of the singing and instrumentation but gets help from the Moog Orchestra's Pea Hix on various keyboards and a cast of female vocalists that would give the Sirens a run for their money in the fetching vocals category. The songs trace Nanook's journey from Alaska to Sweden. Though one never gets the forced feel of a concept record, the songs are intimate and conversational for the most part. Many of the male-female vocals are give-and-take conversations like on the bewitching "Phone Call" or the dance-pop swooner "Forget It Jenny, Love Is Just a Privilege for the Rich." Only one or two tracks go overboard on the atmosphere: the overly dramatic "Naby Park" sabotages the cute lyrics with some very stern soundscapes, and "Where Will You Go" sinks beneath the trip-hop beat and Jennie Löbel's overdone vocals. The rest of the record is light and sweet, like a pharmaceutically boosted Stephin Merritt project or White Town with more than one song. Actually Nanook has crafted a record almost on par with a Magnetic Fields record. Especially now that that band has faded some. Hopefully their fans will latch onto The Taby Tapes. They won't be disappointed.

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