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Album Review

Symphonic, melodic, and hypnotic, it takes precisely 33 seconds into the opening cut, "Climb," for Arnold's symptomatic Wall of Sound to wash ashore in a wave that would lull Brian Wilson out of bed. Confidently withdrawn into a melancholy world of their own, the triumvirate of Mark Saxby, Phil Payne, and Phil Morris have created a somnambulistic collection of low-key pleasantries which synthesize bits and pieces of psychedelia, folk, Baroque pop, and Brill Building songcraft. Though they're often compared to younger acts such as Travis and Radiohead, the members of Arnold are more likely to have experienced artists like Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, and assorted Phil Spector records first hand, which accounts for the ensemble's level of maturity on their third official release. Hidden underneath Bahama's hazy timbre are pulsing rhythms ("Easy"), glam overtones ("Tiny Car"), reverberant organs ("Jus de Lune"), and legato guitar phrases ("Other Son") all revealed at a leisurely pace. Bahama is a decidedly warmer record than its predecessor and musically it's more developed, as it showcases the group's interplay, harmonies, and musical dexterity.


Formed: 1996

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The three man, dreamy textured, harmony-laden British band Arnold weaves a blend of pop music that is ultimately singular: The heartfelt lyrics are incisive, the loose playing is lush. Originally called Patio, the band's singer died suddenly but the trio-Mark Saxby, guitar; Phil Payne, bass; Phil Morris, vocals and drums-pressed on and dubbed themselves Arnold after Payne's dog. In 1997, the Creation label fronted them the money for a demo tape and ended up releasing the songs as they were recorded...
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Bahama, Arnold
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