Album Review
The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea Album Cover

The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea

Reviewed by
The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
Release Date: March 21, 2006
Record Label: Merge Records

Rather than letting slick, fulfilling pop music become passé, a Brooklyn band has decided to bring back the glory days with a completely new outlook on life. The Essex Green, with their third full-length release, Cannibal Sea, long to return to the days of The Beatles, sparkling duets, and those ever-flattering bowl haircuts (which seem to have made a resurgence lately).

Before listening to Cannibal Sea, you ought to put away any prior conceptions of retro-founded music and listen with two open ears. You will likely miss the nuances of the free-flowing pop melodies the first time around, and the album certainly merits consistent play. Whether the refreshing lilt of a flute on "Snakes in the Grass" or the folk-twang of "This Isn't Farm Life," The Essex Green have unearthed some unconventional deliveries for a genre in danger of running stale. The multitalented instrumentalists slash their way through 12 blissful pop gems, stopping here and there for a brief rest before charging onward flanked by lilting flute melodies and a sunny ambience guaranteed to make the Beach Boys jealous. The bouncy "Rue de Lis" bears mention as well for its soothing hooks, despite lacking a typically glossy finish. "Rabbit" is a song that seems too dry for the album. Brooding vocals coupled with acoustic twang just don't feel right at home. Similar issues plague "The Pride," but aside from that, the majority of songs on CannibalSea stand proud and quirky like no other.

As the year draws to a close, The Essex Green landed at #21 on my Best of 2006 list, and for good reason. These songs won't easily dance their way from your iPod. The band makes effective use of dual vocalists, with Chris Ziter and Sasha Bell each shining on a number of tracks, sometimes the same one. While the arrangements are often uncomplicated, the vocalists actually become an extra instrument for the band to use, pulling off layered harmonies, verse switching, and even mood swings within a song with relative ease. If you call yourself a self-respecting fan of indie rock, pop, or any combination thereof, CannibalSea is a worthwhile addition to your music collection. However, don't take my word for it—check out The Essex Green for yourself.

Buy The Essex Green's Cannibal Sea on iTunes

Track List01. This Isn't Farm Life
02. Don't Know Why (You Stay)
03. Penny & Jack
04. Snakes in the Grass
05. Rue De Lis
06. Cardinal Points
07. Rabbit
08. Uniform
09. The Pride
10. Sin City
11. Elsinore
12. Slope Song
Listen to The Essex GreenMyspace | Official Site | Absolutepunk.net Profile
This review is a user submitted review from Tony Pascarella. You can see all of Tony Pascarella's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 8 of 8
06:08 PM on 12/23/06
gettin emo!
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CurtyB's Avatar
good review..but i must admit the last sentence reminded me of the Reading Rainbow, which completely made my day btw
06:22 PM on 12/23/06
The World Won't Listen.
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GoWaitInTheCar's Avatar
I am going to the Pittsburgh date of their little tour.
01:56 AM on 12/24/06
Is it a Pony?!
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MakeDamnSure's Avatar
Hahaha at ThisisMyPanic. So true.

I remember when I first showed you this band, and for one glorious minute they were in competition for your AOTY. :-D Don't deny!
11:29 AM on 12/24/06
Registered User
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No Avatar Selected
It makes me happy to see this band getting attention. I've been such a huge fan for so long. Great review.
01:33 PM on 12/25/06
Tony Pascarella
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Tony Pascarella's Avatar
Hahaha at ThisisMyPanic. So true.

I remember when I first showed you this band, and for one glorious minute they were in competition for your AOTY. :-D Don't deny!
They were. Then Mayer and The Damnwells came along. But The Essex Green is great; I'd love to see them live.
07:31 PM on 12/27/06
Basking in Wrongness
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No Avatar Selected
i loooove this cd
10:00 AM on 10/18/10
Registered User
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tonybolony's Avatar
fantastic pop gem!! ...only wish they were working on a new one!

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