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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Ark - Singing 'Bout The City


"I was born and raised with a cross in my face"

As my review yesterday noted, the new Ark album is a curious thing, for sure. I think if it had been recorded by any other band I’d be singing its praises right now, but with the standard the Ark have set for themselves over the years, I’m a little reticent. However, I’m unflinching in my praise for one of the album’s best tracks. Singing ‘Bout The City is one of the strangest songs in the Ark canon. Sure, Ola’s musings about the differences between city and country life aren’t all that surprising, but the music behind them is almost jarringly new. Awhile back, the band had expressed interest in bringing country-rock influences into this record, and there’s definitely some of that to be found in the guitar here. But then it shifts into a pure disco hook (a little Bee Gees-esque?) that saves it from becoming a one-genre experiment. Add to that the funky big-band jazz flourishes that punctuate the opening (does it remind anyone else of the theme to Cowboy Bebop?), and you’ve got something that’s quite indefinable. And that’s before the song has segued into its theatrical, symphonic middle section. It’s the kind of shift that defines what an amazing band the Ark really are. They’re willing to experiment within the pop/rock genre they’ve established for themselves. That can be a good thing and a bad thing. Luckily, it’s very successful here. And, unlike a few of the other tracks, Ola’s vocals are spot on throughout, meeting each shift in sound with the verve and believability of a true showman. It certainly doesn’t hurt that this has gotta be one of the more autobiographical songs he’s written.

The Ark - Singing 'Bout The City by milproj2

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Ark Army said...

Should have made this the first single. It's such a great song.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

This is absolutely bonkers! It took me a few listens to get my head round it but i am really liking it now. Foxy Shazam and The Ark (this album) are ruling my album playlist at the moment...

3:07 AM  
Anonymous alex said...

This is the song from that documentary, isn't it?

Love the slower parts in particular.

"Walking in the moonlight, love making in the park. Summer night city"

12:49 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Yeah, it's the final version of the clip we heard in the documentary. I'm not sure if it's mainstream enough to be a single, but I'm really digging it. It's a little similar to last album's Death To The Martyrs. It's not immediately Ark-ish, yet it's a sound I feel that only they can really do.

7:47 PM  

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