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Capades

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Album Review

L.A. singer/songwriter Alex Lilly, Obi Best's frontwoman, also tours and records as a backing vocalist for the Bird and the Bee, whose retro-inflected sophisti-pop makes an almost too handy reference point for her own work. It's an apt one, though, both in terms of Lilly's light-spirited, keyboard-based songwriting and, especially, her jazzy, mellifluent, and playfully nuanced voice, which is uncannily reminiscent of Inara George. But she's got her own distinctive style to offer as well, an infectious, wide-eyed freshness particularly evident in her curious approach to writing melodies. Fluid but quirky, swooping and sauntering with conspicuous pleasure through unexpected intervals and off-kilter rhythms, her melodic lines sometimes take on an otherworldly, vaguely oriental cast, as on "Origami" (fittingly enough) and the bouncy, carnivalesque "Swedish Boy" (perhaps more incongruously — though the song is about "a made-up country" — but to superbly catchy effect). The melodies mostly connect up well with Lilly's similarly ruminative, charmingly colloquial lyrics: the merger isn't always completely natural, as the words can come off clunky and half-formed (like on the somewhat perplexing rant "It's Because of People Like You"), but her beguiling voice and prevailing sweetness go a long way toward smoothing things over. Elsewhere, along with some touchingly ambivalent relationship songs, "Days of Decadence" and "Green and White Stripes" deal quite nicely with, respectively, nostalgia and ineffability. Songwriting aside, plenty of Capades' appeal lies in its playfully inventive soundscape. Lest one forget, Obi Best are, at least ostensibly, a band, comprised of L.A. studio vets (whose credits include work with Beck and Jenny Lewis) who adorn Lilly's guitar and piano stylings with all manner of fizzy, dreamlike sounds and lush, offbeat electronic effects, underscoring the warmth and whimsy that make this such a welcome, winsome debut. ~ K. Ross Hoffman, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Nouveau Classic

It's been a long time since I've loved an entire album. Every song feels like it lives in its own unique world and I discover new elements each time I listen. I have my favorites like "Blooms Like Flowers" and "Who Loves You Now" but all of the songs are catchy and offer something different. The music feels both classic and futuristic to me and I love that.

its good, its real good

Obi Best's debut album is contagious….so beware if you are susceptible to encounters with the good-music sort. Capades will hook you on first listen. Alex Lilly's vocals combined with the backing of melodic keyboards and dreamy electronica will take you on a ride through a landscape full of sweet endless possibilities. Ranging from thoughtful and eloquent ('Blooms Like Flowers') to fun and poppy ('Nothing Can Come Between Us'), there is a mountain of music to explore here. Highly recommended for people wanting to have a engaging yet fun listen.

everything I love about music

This album has everything I love about music: memorable melodies, great grooves, impeccable arrangements and production, and awesome singing... Overall it's an effortlessly smart batch of songs that everyone can appreciate. get it!

Biography

Formed: Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

After logging several years as a backup vocalist for the Bird and the Bee, singer/songwriter Alex Lilly launched her own indie pop project with Obi Best. The group's animated, quirky music took some cues from the Bird and the Bee, but Lilly's appreciation for Stereolab, the Cardigans, and delicate soundscapes also influenced the material. Lilly populated Obi Best's lineup with several musician friends and retreated to the studio, where the group...
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Capades, Obi Best
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