Thursday, June 26, 2014

Camera Obscura - "My Maudlin Career" (LP Review)

My fascination with Camera Obscura continues; they're still perhaps the biggest cult band that you've never heard of.  2009 saw the release of their fourth studio LP, "My Maudlin Career".  I have to confess that I was disappointed at first, especially considering how much I loved their prior LP "Let's Get Out Of This Country".  The lead single and the LP's opening song, "French Navy", might be their strongest song ever, but after that the LP treads water.  While none of the songs are bad -- some are even quite good -- it just doesn't come together as well as their prior LPs even though all the standard Camera Obscura motifs are present.

Having said that, Camera Obscura treading water is still better than most bands and after repeated listening my opinion of this LP has improved.  In prior reviews I've struggled to describe their sound with terms like "NPR indie rock" and "pop songs for adults", so I won't try further here.  Even though it might be their weakest LP to date, it should still be in your collection.

Standout songs: "French Navy" (if you listen to only one Camera Obscura song in your life, make it "French Navy"), "Sweetest Thing", "Swans", "James", "My Maudlin Career", "Honey in the Sun"

Skip 'em songs: none

Final rating: 7/10.  On a good day I'd give it an 8/10, but I sure would like at least one more song with a hook as strong as "French Navy". 

Bonus live links (incomplete, there are many more):

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