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Migration

Takka Takka

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Album Review

Takka Takka have clearly done some growing up in the two years that separated their debut album, We Feel Safer at Night, and their second full-length release, 2008's Migration. While there was a charming modesty to their first album that suited Gabe Levine's songs, Migration sounds considerably cleaner, tighter, and more confident, with a greater reliance on keyboards and electronics, a firmer and more adventurous rhythmic pulse, and a newly sophisticated production approach. The folk-rock influence that wove its way through We Feel Safer at Night is still there, but Migration draws from a broader and more varied palette; the spare textures of "The Optimists Were Right" suggest Brian Eno's ambient period, the casual but breezy vibe of "The Takers" recalls early Aztec Camera, and the ringing, rhythmic guitar texture that dominates several cuts makes it seem as if Rene Planchon and Drew Thurlow have been checking out some old King Sunny Ade LPs. Many of these influences seem to evaporate as soon as they come into clear focus, but there's no mistaking that steady touring and additional experience in the studio have allowed Takka Takka to take their game to a new level, and the greater sophistication and stronger craft serve Levine's songs well. Migration's melodies are every bit as strong as the songs on the debut, but the arrangements and production give them the chance to reveal more layers, and the expanded range of tonal color and imagination makes Migration a more challenging and rewarding experience all around.

Biography

Formed: 2004 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

A warm combination of folk-inspired songwriting and indie rock instrumentation characterizes the music of Brooklyn's Takka Takka, who formed in 2004 after bandleader Gabe Levine (vocals, keyboard, guitar) relocated to New York from Texas. The band's early lineup also included drummer Conrad Doucette, bassist J.P. Jones (replaced by Grady Jurrens in 2006), and guitarist Damion Jurrens (replaced by Rene Planchon and Drew Thurlow in July 2007). After recording the debut album We Feel Safer at Night...
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Migration, Takka Takka
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