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The Magic of Sound

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Album Review

On Magic of Sound, Oakland, CA's Lunchbox emerged to the forefront of the West Coast style of melodic indie pop. The disc kicks off with the atmospheric and subdued "In My World," which gives way to the frenzied and summery "Ordinary Day." Many of the songs (like "Just Because" and "So Much About You") start off with choppy and inventive audio experiments, eventually leading to the layered and upbeat soundscapes the band began to assemble with this disc. Guitarist Tim Brown led the attack on vocals yet again and was backed up by bassist Donna McKean. The duo performed most of the recording work on their own, both performing multiple instruments. The group maintains a cheerful mood throughout, combining organ, keyboards, and handclaps to create an infectiously happy series of songs. The pairing of "Little Things" and "Still Life" might be crescendo of the disc, utilizing harmonies, keyboards, and synthesizer to create a wave of pleasurable pop. The disc comes to a close with wavy organ and synthesizer on the instrumental "Episode." Shannon Handy stepped in on drums on some tracks, while Alvis Catalono added some guitar work to "Still Life." The disc was co-produced by Brown and Ciao Bella's Jamie McCormick.


Formed: 1994 in Berkeley, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Lunchbox is an indie pop trio from Berkeley, CA, led by singer/songwriter and guitarist Tim Brown, along with bassist Donna McKean, and a revolving door of drummers, most notably Marty Kelly, Hugh Howie, and Jon Brahm. After forming in 1994, the trio released its self-titled debut on San Francisco's Not Happy label in 1996. Though that album was largely three-chord mod-pop in the tradition of early Jam records, by the time of their second album, 1998's The Magic of Sound,...
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The Magic of Sound, Lunchbox
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