Yellow Red Sparks – Yellow Red Sparks

Yellow Red Sparks – Yellow Red Sparks Album Art

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Released: 01/29/2013

Today’s music culture is predicated on immediate satisfaction and glitzy attractions. Music enthusiasts have been swiftly replaced by music consumers (without the use of the money in most cases) devouring any scrapes thrown at them. I thought I despised the idea of modern radio incessantly playing the same music on a loop in hopes of eventually convincing the listener that they like it. I fear, however, that the fault these days lies in the listener, not the radio. Despite this concern, I have no doubt that music enthusiasts still endure and for them, Yellow Red Sparks’ exists.

The band, led by Joshua Hanson, resides within a comfort zone of folk throughout the 11-song on his debut full length but still succeeds to meander through a gamut of tempos and emotions. “My Machine Gun” and “Scents and Sensibility” fill out the album with toe-tapping romps while gentle crooners “Mr. Wonderful” and “Happiness Comes In A Box” get you in more of a swaying mood.

It’s the blending of these two worlds where the album really shines through. The lead single “Monsters With Misdemeanors” may not have the immediacy of the aforementioned snappy songs but it exudes its sentiments with bare naked reality. The title track is a cunningly imposing song that doesn’t come at you head on but instead sucks you in with Hanson’s gliding vocals and leaves you begging for more as the closing notes fade out. It makes for a perfect centerpiece to the album.

 

The focus of this album is on its straight-forward elements: brushed drums and gentle acoustic plucks over swooning vocals; the songs aren’t embellished with too many bells and whistles. There is a steady stream of strings that add a subtle but essential underpinning. The album isn’t without its curve balls either. “A Play To End All Plays” and “A Buffalo” stretches the folk genre to its boundaries with noir elements and orchestral accompaniments.

The cap in the feather resides with the album closer “Hope On A Rope.” The chorus rings high and resides in your thoughts long after the track has run its course. Don’t be misled; this album is no adolescent flailing around for attention. It is not a thrill seeker or a morose walk down a dark alley. It is a mature, candid depiction of one man’s journey through life. While Yellow Red Sparks may not place Josh next to today’s pop stars in the near future, it defines honest songwriting and performing.

Matt Zimmerman

I have a bachelors in music enthusiasm with an emphasis on physical collection. If you'd like to know more about my major, see what I'm listening to at: http://www.last.fm/user/nametakenrox84

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