album review: islands
  • WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2009

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Islands opts to explore new, misty, sonic territory on their third LP, a departure which benefits their mystique and their cred to an immense degree. Part of the reason: the jumpy tropic pop of Arm's Way has been processed and recycled for a newer, cleaner sound. J'amie Thomas has returned to Islands, and although this homecoming would suggest Vapours should be some sort of return to form, he merely contributed to the effort, not controlling or influencing the creation process. For a band consistently pegged as orchestral pop, and seemingly static, forward momentum is both desirable and wise. And the songwriting has continued to intensify in dynamic and gregarious ways. Islands makes their next studio a mark of the most unexpected, unfamiliar, and enticing.

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