Noah and the Whale - Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down
Record Label: Vertigo
Release Date: August 12, 2008
Commercials are an interesting promotional tool for bands. When they are featured in commercials, two things can happen: it could either shoot them up on the iTunes download charts or still be forgotten due to the lack of recognition that the commercial may give them. Many bands will be forever cursed with the title “that band from the commercial for the thing,” but some bands deserve more than this. One of those bands is Noah and the Whale. They are featured in a Saturn commercial that has gotten heavy airplay on CBS and other network stations. Their catchy folk-rock deserves a lot more recognition that then some commercial can give them, but it has presented a very talented band to a lot of people.
Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down starts out with “2 Atoms In A Molecule,” with a giddy acoustic guitar line that is slightly muted. The track follows the same quick style and is an extremely fun song that would have been right at home on the Juno soundtrack. “Shape Of My Heart” is a bouncy indie-pop number filled with handclaps and horns, its repetitive drum beat and lyrics displaying the simplicity that’s part of what makes the album so listenable.
With the fourth track, “Do What You Do,” the band throws you a curveball with a much toned-down track. This is the one of the ‘folkier’ songs on the record. It contains only an acoustic guitar and violin in the background throughout most of the song. Towards the end of the track, a light drum note is hit that helps hold the attention of the listener, as the song is a little too long for it’s own good. The following track, “ Give A Little Love,” takes a similar direction as “Do What You Do,” but with more instruments. While it does have an acoustic guitar, it also has a consistent drum beat and at times tosses a little piano in. Closer to the end of the song, they do a small back-and-forth with the singer and some gang vocalists that adds a bit of an interesting twist to the song.
Track number seven is the infamous "commercial song": “5 Years Time” is the most pop-esque and catchiest song on the record; it gives off the same feel as “2 Atoms In A Molecule,” as I think that this would also fit perfect on the Juno soundtrack. The album closes with “Hold My Hand As I’m Lowered,” probably the only track that is ‘foliker’ than “Do What You Do”. It really wasn’t the closer I was looking for as the album comes to a pretty boring finish.
Noah and the Whale surprised me: they are talented, creative and are simply a good band. I had prematurely written them off as just another band that somehow got their song in a commercial. Noah and the Whale will probably be left in the dust like so many other bands of their kind. I can only hope that they have the ability to break through the norm of bands featured in commercials.