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Second Hand Planet

Opshop

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Album Review

Double platinum, three weeks at number one, three hit singles, one of which went gold: OpShop's second album made the Auckland quartet one of the biggest acts in New Zealand. Overall, Second Hand Planet is entirely deserving of its success: it's an unabashedly mainstream modern alt-pop disc, but done with such craft and skill that it doesn't seem like a naked bid for the charts. Sonic comparisons to the likes of Snow Patrol and Coldplay are perhaps inevitable, and the effects-laden guitar line and semi-tribal drums that underpin "Noah" are pure U2 circa The Unforgettable Fire, but the often offputting overdramatic earnestness of those bands is rarely in evidence here. "One Thing Worth Preserving" veers into that brand of "I'm singing well above my voice's natural range so I sound all impassioned 'n' stuff" rock, and it's by some distance the worst song on the album. On the surface, songs like the urgent, Arcade Fire-like opener "Big Energy in Little Places" and "Helpless" aren't that different from that weak point, but there singer Jason Kerrison wisely dials back on the overemotive singing that plagues so many similar bands. But it's on the ballads that Second Hand Planet is most effective, particularly the quietly tense hit single "Waiting Now" and the gentle lullaby "One Day" that closes the album. One of 2007's most appealing albums in its style, Second Hand Planet easily outclasses the similar likes of Elbow or Muse, and OpShop deserve greater exposure in the northern hemisphere, despite the frankly terrible band name.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Opshop emerged as one of the most popular New Zealand rock acts of its generation with its breakthrough 2004 single "No Ordinary Thing." So named for the Kiwi moniker for thrift stores, the group formed in Auckland in 2002: frontman Jason Kerrison was playing a solo residency in a downtown backpackers' bar when he invited longtime friend Tim Skedden to sit in on guitar, and another mutual friend, drummer Bobby Kennedy, soon signed on to play drums. Guitarist Matt Treacy and bassist Ian Munro completed...
Full bio
Second Hand Planet, Opshop
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