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The Darkest Spark

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Album Review

This Toronto band have a slight collective feeling although with nowhere near the membership of Broken Social Scene. Still, the group's debut album starts with a slow-building but rich "September '01" that resembles classic Smashing Pumpkins in a soft, acoustic setting. Things pick up with another lovable pop nugget which acts as the title track, bringing to mind some melding of Pulp and Stars. However, the first glorious rock tune is the short but jubilant "We'll Make It" that has an Arcade Fire feel despite clocking in at less than two minutes. Ghost Is Dancing are well versed in mixing styles up, particularly during the terribly melodic but quite adventurous "Shuttles and Planes" that could have been produced by George Martin. The equally stellar, uplifting and layered "Organ" seems to surpass the tighter, dreamy pop oozing from "Greatlakescape," which becomes more bombastic as it goes along. Perhaps it goes just a tad over the top near the homestretch. Nonetheless, Ghost Is Dancing refine their sound for a string-tinged, orchestral "The Dark and the Bright." While The Darkest Spark is not a record that would leave one aghast or giddy from its material, the promise of the band is shown nicely in the swaying, ballad-ish vibe during "Arrivals (Are Never Enough)." Ghost Is Dancing have a bright future ahead of them if this is a measuring stick. Some of these songs would generate sparks live.

The Darkest Spark, The Ghost Is Dancing
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