REVIEW: Impossible Shapes: We Like It Wild
The Impossible Shapes: We Like It Wild [Secretly Canadian, 2003] (mp3s)
Three words? Perfectly executed whimsy
The Impossible Shapes, on their not-so-new full length We Like It Wild, offer up a dose of countrified, whimical pop that is so perfectly played, so artfully executed, that it sounds more adventurous than it actually is. There is much to like about the record. The earnest vocals and inventive instrumentation are accessible and likeable, but by the time you wind down forty minutes and fourteen tracks later, the melodies are quickly forgotten. Nothing here, in this beautifully produced album, sticks.
From the opening, finger picked notes of "Give Me A Note," The Impossible Shapes seem to promise something phenomenal. This most memorable track,is haunting and effective in its two minute running time. Desperately crooning "I would like a note/One with soul/That won't crack me up/Oh I need one so I can sing" there is great anticipation for what will follow. Sadly, the band falls into Apples In Stereo meets Simon & Garfunkel meets Iron & Wine indie rock. Expertly played, We Like It Wild is a pleasant listen but hardly leaves an impression.
"She Let Me Run" rambles with Wilco's drunken-poet swagger and Doug Martsch's guitar heroics. The title track finds playful horns and marching band-like delivery, evoking images of the Beatles' Abbey Road. "Sharing Our Space" cleverly lifts the Peanuts piano theme, turning it into a rollicking pop number. The influences here are obvious, but with such reverence for their forebears, The Impossible Shapes don't dare to take any chances.
We Like It Wild will certainly find an audience with indie rock kids and college radio station airplay. It's easy on the ears, and you can bob your head to it, but it's nothing you haven't heard before. It's capable, but with such an amazing array of innovative and exciting pop bands out there, The Impossible Shapes may not be first on your list of new records to pick up.