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Wake Them Up

One Ring Zero

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Album Review

All of the press — and there was a lot of it — around One Ring Zero's full-length debut, As Smart as We Are, related to the album's authorial quirk. The lyrics on this album were written by a procession of hip authors, most notably Rick Moody, Michael Chabon, Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Lethem, and Myla Goldberg. An interesting concept, it nonetheless completely obscured the fact that One Ring Zero were actually, y'know, a band. Returning to their self-contained core duo of multi-instrumentalists Joshua Camp and Michael Hearst, One Ring Zero's Wake Them Up is a charmingly eclectic batch of indie rock tunes pitched somewhere between the Decemberists' literary bent and Broken Social Scene's fondness for non-rock instrumentation used in an otherwise traditional pop song context. The songs this time having been written entirely by Camp and Hearst, there is more obvious consistency to the album as compared to the considerably more unfocused and scattershot As Smart as We Are; that said, the procession of Salvation Army tubas, klezmer violin and clarinet, and droning harmonium that wends through the diverse and often fascinating arrangements means the album never grows tiresome or samey. As Smart as We Are was a clever parlor trick, but Wake Them Up shows that One Ring Zero have more than their share of ideas by themselves.

Wake Them Up, One Ring Zero
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