Title: Rocks into Rivers
Label: Credential Recordings
More melodic rock from rising indie outfit …
For a band quoted as perfectly content "being the underdog" for their entire career if "that meant surprising the critics and naysayers every time we scored a touchdown," EMI's indie/alternative collective Seabird must have ignored their recent mainstream achievements. With accessible melodic piano-based rock, the band has found a home on popular television programming like Grey's Anatomy and Pushing Daisies, giving the young band a freshman upper hand.
But if they aren't careful, their primetime credentials will associate the musical bunch with a slew of other delay-heavy rockers who achieve 30-second greatness before being swallowed by the current of trends pervading today's fickle entertainment field. Rocks into Rivers attempts to quell the tide by working to further distinguish the band's hooky catalog.
Record opener "Don't You Know You're Beautiful" perfectly pulses a love letter from God to his creations, affirming, "Forever your heart is my home." "The Good King" swaps the hammering piano for a pounding electric guitar with a similar message of comfort from Father God to his children.
"This Ain't Home" and "The Sound of You and I" feature rootsy upright pianos, delicate glockenspiels, an affective accordion backdrop and generic relationship themes that will likely continue the band's love affair with primetime TV. And each track is carried by Aaron Morgan's eloquent vocal that hints at Rufus Wainwright and The Killers' Brandon Flowers.
Considering production was split between Paul Moak (Mat Kearney) and Aqualung's Matt Hales, Rocks into Rivers' melodic rock makes sense ("Believe Me" could have easily been a bonus track on Hales' Memory Man). But I'm surprised the two talents didn't achieve a more diverse set list.
No doubt Seabird delivers some mighty fine pop/rock worthy of its exposure thus far—but yet to reach the high "surprise" bar the band has set for its pop/rock meldings.
Be sure to check out Seabird music videos at Godtube.com.
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**This review first published on February 23, 2010.