Monday, March 2, 2009

Ribbons - Royals

(12.2008, Osaka Records)
RIYL = good music, Grizzly Bear, Radiohead, Au

You’re going to like Ribbons. Usually albums with such wonderfully designed, colorful album art are covering up for some type of musical lacking, but not Ribbons. No no, Ribbons (aka, one Jherek Bischoff) has created a creative album filled with glib pop innovation. Arriving late last year, Royals has been majorly overlooked by a majority of the indie rock hype engine – and I’m telling ya, Royals is deserving of some hype. This could easily a Best New Music on Pitchfork or 4+ dot on Tiny Mix Tapes. Even a stingy rag like Cokemachineglow (which we love 'em for) should be giving Royals above 80%. It’s a good record. Why is it so good you ask? Pfft, like I can say. I’m not really any good at writing about music, especially pop music (but I do it anyway). However, as pop music, Royals is some of that grade A stuff, the kind that makes you smile rather than yawn. It’s high quality too. Bischoff, the man behind the magic, knows what he is doing. Royals is immaculately produced and filled with some seriously vibrant tones. The vocals are divine and multi tracked to gorgeous harmonic ends remeniscent of Grizzly Bear. Turns our Bischoff is not only an efficient producer and singer, but an apt programmer and a killer multi-instrumentalist. Ribbons succeeds in knowing the breadth and boundaries of its sound and visiting every area within that arena to keep things moving along interestingly. No two tracks are wholly the same, but each works within the framework of 'Royals' as an album. Bischoff rocks some skuzzy, bombastic drum machine loops, some baroque orchestral flourishes and bits of standard indie guitar string work. Each element works toward a composite sketch of what well produced contemporary pop can be and should be. Nowadays, everyone has the tools to make good music, Bischoff simply shows how we all should be using them tools. If your any type of fan of modern indie pop, Royals is a must. I know I made a pact only a couple reviews back to avoid hyperboles and the like in my reviews, but Royals is certainly worthy of any adulation that has slipped past or those present herein. Definitely ranking high on the best albums I missed in 2008. But it is still only like 3 months old, this stuff is fresh and ripe for the picking!

- Lil' Thistle

Ribbons on Myspace

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