Album Review
The Color Wheels - The Color Wheels Album Cover

The Color Wheels - The Color Wheels

Reviewed by
The Color Wheels - The Color Wheels
Record Label: Viper Bite Records
Release Date: September 14, 2007
The husband and wife steam of Jon and Psalm Sebastian who form The Color Wheels have a lot in common with other husband and wife folk rock/ambient pop duos like Viva Voce, Mates of State, and The Comforters. The couple’s self-titled debut album The Color Wheels has the college radio clout of The New Pornographers and the lo-fi modern pop garments of Yo La Tenga. Produced and engineered by Jacques Cohen (Mercury Rev, The Brides, Agit Pop), the songs are crafted with verses that make you hum along to them and have you floating on their cluster of sonic flutters surrounded in psychedelic tinted fauna. The music is tranquil and melodic even in its most guitar rock conditions like in the sonic whippings of “Superjet Waterslide.”

Acoustic pop vapors pump through tracks like “Rock My World,” “Hot for Teacher,” and “Lets Play House,” producing lush harmonies and slick pottery shaped melodies. Jon’s melodically coated timbres have the emo clasps of Kula Shaker’s lead vocalist Crispian Mills and Psalm’s drumming has the soft fluidity and crisp rock thumps of Oasis’ Tony McCaroll. Beanbags of melodic rock fibers provide a cushiony ambience in songs like “Green Means Go,” “Plain Jane,” and “Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’.” The glockenspiel chimes are enhanced through the bridge of “Green Means Go,” bringing out the melody’s delicateness and childlike charm.

The Color Wheels fuse acoustic and rock elements, forming showers with pleasing aesthetics in numbers like “Camping Trip” and “Don’t Hit on Me” with a kinship to the lilting movements of Belle & Sebastian. These are songs that you would enjoy waking up to, giving you peace of mind to start your day off. The retro ‘60s flavoring of “Pirate Ship” is prelude by a soothing string arrangement and the synth pop twitching of “Candy Dish” has an electro pop glint with lyrics that repeat in hazy vocals, “Put that in your candy dish.” The lyrics have a personal meaning which may seem abstract, but the music really brings out the instruments resonance and sad thoughts.

The Color Wheels won’t make you scream - it'll make you feel at peace. The songs won’t make you cry, but feel free of everyday woes. It’s escapist music that puts you in a pleasant state of being. As a beverage drink, The Color Wheels aren’t escapist in the sense of hard liquor but very much in line with a cooler. It won’t get you drunk, but it will give you a little refresher that makes you feel good.

Recommended if You LikeBelle & Sebastian, The New Pornographers, Yo La Tenga

This review is a user submitted review from Susan Frances. You can see all of Susan Frances's submitted reviews here.
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