Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Life on Earth! - Look! There is Life on Earth!

Life on Earth!
Look! There is Life on Earth!
(05.2007, Subliminal Sounds)

Life On Earth! is the solo project of Matthias Gustavsson. The guitarist of the Swedish retro psych rockers, Dungen, reveals himself as an able one man show on his first album. Maintaining the timelessness found in Dungen, Gustavsson waltzes Life On Earth! into multi instrumental psych folk territory with uber proficiency. On the opening track of Look! There Is Life On Earth! (watch out for those exclamation marks!) Gustavsson plays a blazing jazz flute solo that turns into a homage a little too reminiscent of a recent Will Farrell scene. Fortunately the unintentionally humorous moment transitions into a solid collection of worthy songs. It is obvious from the get go that Gustavsson is well practiced; however the ambition this affords him occasionally walks the album through rough territory. Unnecessary flourishes including extended outros on a couple of songs seem to bog down the flow of the album and detract from some songs that would hold up well without them. Gustavsson also sings in English on this album which occasionally makes me wish he held to his native Swedish to spare me from understanding some of the lyrics. Fortunately, Gustavsson's talent is so great that the album doesn't suffer too harshly from its occasional missteps. I have been trying to suppress the idea of a time machine but it is uncanny how fully Life On Earth! transports you back in time. I just can't help but feel like a major hippy touring the country in a Volkswagen bus when listening to it. It must have been a beautiful, awkward time to be alive. -

-Mr. Thistle

Life On Earth! - "Sell Your Soul To Me"

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