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The Millions Too Many

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Album Review

Although A Northern Chorus have decided to edit themselves somewhat with this album, the standard three-minute pop song is not exactly part of the overall plan. Hushed, artsy, and smart, the band wastes little time making elegiac sounds on "Carpenter," which has lush orchestration. It also contains an adventurous feel that resembles similar Canadian bands like Arcade Fire and Rheostatics. Melodic almost to a fault, the songs sound like they are part of one journey, especially "Skeleton Keys," which creates a very warm, textured foundation. However, part of the danger with such a record is that the warmth slowly starts to rub off, as is the case with the decent but at times too tightly wound "No Stations." Fortunately, the song builds into another string-tinged bridge that explodes. The album's centerpiece, "The Canadian Shield," is another slow-building tune that is the album's highlight by far, resembling the Canadian equivalent of Sigur Rós. Dramatic without going over the top but with a certain bite and edge, the song's only sticking point is that it could go on for a few more moments rather than clocking in at five and a half minutes. Meanwhile, the hushed, soothing-c*m-urgent "Ethic of the Pioneer" and "Remembrance Day" sound like they are just a bit too formulaic as the cello and violins are heard in the distance. While The Millions Too Many is an album that many will fall in love with and has some fleeting life-affirming moments, it's not entirely a jaw-dropping experience.

Customer Reviews

Intelligent Beauty

A Northern Chorus has created a beautiful album of intelligently constructed songs. The music marries extremely affecting singing with lush, elegant and soulful instrumental accompaniment. While iTMS cites U2 circa "Unforgettable Fire" as a reference to the sound of "The Millions Too Many", there are better references to the same period of music that one might invoke, most notably Prefab Sprout. Having said this, while A Northern Chorus sings in a voice that is uniquely their own, their sound is reminiscent of early Badly Drawn Boy and orchestral soft/loud/soft bands like The Delgados. This said, A Northern Chorus has produced music that need not be pigeon-holed in this way, as the perfected album that they have produced stands on its own as a wonderfully crafted collection of captivating music. Money well spent.

Haunting and flawless

I would be so proud to put my name to a collection of gems like this. It's not very often that an album can repeatedly send shivers down my spine. The music is just so uniquely flawless, so haunting. I love that the emphasis in this album is on second-by-second quality in individual songs rather than trying to put a certain number of songs on the album. Quality always beats quantity when it comes to good music, and because ANC follows this principle so religious in this album, it's one of the best releases of 2007 in my books. It's one of those albums where you shouldn't just buy individual songs. Some people may not like this music but I say take the risk, and download the entire album! You will be glad you did. If you don't want to buy the whole album, I highly recommend Skeleton Keys, The Canadian Shield, Remembrance Day and Carpenter.


Formed: 1999

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Presenting simple yet ingenious medleys of alternative pop along with artful indie rock substantiated by a resourceful string section, A Northern Chorus' conceptions seem to flow, aided by the cyclic choruses of their songs. Following the dissolution of their previous outfit, Datura Dream Defered, guitarist and vocalist Stu Livingstone, alongside Pete Hall (guitar, vocals), decided to form A Northern Chorus in 1999. During more than a year, the duo prepared and composed several compositions, prior...
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The Millions Too Many, A Northern Chorus
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Customer Ratings