The Lucksmiths

Warmer Corners

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You would think that by their seventh album Australian pop/rock giants the Lucksmiths would have run clear out of the clever, elliptical lyrics and catchy melodies that have been intoxicating listeners since the band's debut in 1993. Not so. Even frontman Tali White's side project, the Guild League, which released records in 2002 and 2004, couldn't deplete the endless cache of near-perfect pop songs just waiting to be put to tape/hard drive in anticipation of the aptly titled Warmer Corners. Like 2003's Naturaliste, White, guitarists Marty Donald and Louis Richter, and bass player Mark Monnone have crafted another shimmering collection of road trips put to music that balances wistful romanticism with mischievous grins, resulting in a record that manages to introduce just enough spice without ruining a reliable dish that some would deem perfect just the way it is. Producer Craig Pilkington's melodic brass and string arrangements are more prevalent this time around, swaying in and out of standout cuts like "A Hiccup in Your Happiness" and the Motown-infused "Now I'm Further Away." Twilight atmosphere may reign supreme on "folkier" tracks like "If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Now," with its weepy pedal steel set against the lyric ("Let's just drive until we've found somewhere there are more headstones in the cemetery than houses in the town" is imagery that you could eat), but whimsy is never far away (the whistling solo in "I Don't Want To Walk Around Alone No More" is both campy and heartbreaking). Warmer Corners is like most Lucksmiths records; it's meant to be swallowed whole, and in an age of singles with albums attached to them, it's both refreshing and nostalgic at the same time.

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