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The Czars
Bella Union Records

It is rare to find an album that can transport you from mood to mood in such a way that you have no real sense of being hauled along on the emotional journey. The Czars have succeeded in doing just that. Goodbye is a brilliantly subtle trip through the human psyche. One moment, John Grant's understated piano is lulling you into a sense of perfect well being, and the next Andy Monley's guitar shakes you into a state of restless tension. This is not music for the faint of heart, but rather for those that can truly appreciate the divine power of truly great music.

Our journey begins with "Goodbye", which, in excellent literary form, gives us a foreshadowing of what is to come on the record. It is a mini-journey that moves from calm and serene textures to tension filled moments of extreme sonic glory. "Paint The Moon" is possibly the most beautiful of Czars songs; showcasing the talents of each individual member of the band, from the brilliant drumming, to the 50's era near-country pop guitar licks. The Czars show their indie chops on songs like "My Love", creating amazing synthesizer textures to perfectly compliment their moody pop music. Getting a bit gothic and creepy on "Little Pink Houses", the band enlists Denver trumpet legend Ron Miles for some excellent horn playing. "I Am The Man" moves into science fiction territory, with heavily vocoded background vocals, a ton of brilliant synth work, and dueling drum parts. The melodies on "Trash" prove that even Brian Wilson can be outdone on Beach Boys' style songcrafting; this song takes basic beautiful melodies and layers them with pristinely haunting background vocals and abrasive lyrical content. The sparse sounds of "I Saw A Ship" offer a nice, short reprieve from the back-and-forth emotions of the previous songs, but it doesn't last long. The tension once again begins to mount on "Los", explodes into full pop glory on "Bright Black Eyes", and finds full noisy glory on "Pain". This ending of the album is a bit strange, as "Pain" seems more of an indie rock track, far from anything else we've ever heard from The Czars, full of lead synth riffs and heavily distorted guitars. Perhaps it's more signs of things to come… yet another re-invention of who this band is.

There is no prouder moment for a musician, or a fan of music, than when a band that you have grown up with finally comes into their own - crafting music in such a mature way that they have obtained some form of perfection. I have always been proud to know The Czars and to follow their progress and growth throughout the years. And now, without hesitation, I can honestly say that I believe that they have found their true voice, and have become one of the finest bands in the entire musical world.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:

1. Goodbye Intro
2. Goodbye
3. Paint The Moon
4. The Hymn
5. My Love
6. Little Pink House
7. I Am The Man
8. Trash
9. I Saw A Ship
10. Los
11. Bright Black Eyes
12. Pain

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