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Down and Out In Shangri-la

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iTunes Review

New Wave quirkiness and prog-rock ambition comingle on changing modes’ Down and Out In Shangri-la. The third album by this New York foursome suggests an unlikely assortment of reference points, including Blondie, No Doubt, Sparks, Led Zeppelin, and Procol Harum. Highly proficient musicianship and a poker-faced sense of humor enable the band to juggle these influences without embarrassing themselves. The songs (written by keyboardist Wendy Griffiths) offer jittery sci-fi fantasies and impressionistic flights anchored by surprisingly effective hooks. “No Fly Zone,” “Blue Tomorrow,” and the title track deliberately trip up their bouncy tunefulness with odd tempo shifts and erratic instrumental breaks. The string-accented “Race the Wave” gives the group a moment of classical-rock grandeur, while “Vital Signs” and “Gate/He Walks In Darkness” get funky in a cerebral sort of way. Singer Camille Atkinson adds needed vocal heft (especially on the hard-thrusting “Ship”) and guitarist/bassist Yuzuru Sadashige works overtime to flesh out the album’s often-complex arrangements. Changing modes can be overly fussy and too cute for their own good, but behind these busy, brainy tracks are an adventuresome spirit and a sharply satiric attitude.

Customer Reviews

A Fabulous Tapestry

This fantastic new CD is an intricately woven blend of the finest psychedelic rock, new wave, 80s pop and classical influences, creating a wonderously sublime listening experience. From hard rockers to melodic ballads, they've got something for everyone here, and it all fits together perfectly. Amazing musicianship, superb vocals, and fine production values make this an album not to be missed.

An Awesome Sound Combo!

The new CD is excellent!! The combination of instrument playing, wild harmony and lead vocals really transform this CD into a musical masterpiece. It brings together modern, alternative and hard rock in to a great hot pop sound. It will appeal to many Genres!!


Formed: 2000 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Formed in the mid-'90s by Wendy Grifffiths and Yuzuru Sadashige (keyboards/vocals and guitar/bass, respectively), Changing Modes are a New York-based experimental outfit that came to be as an at-home recording project but soon took to live performances. The band began playing shows in 2000, and over the years would see the stages of such legendary venues as the Knitting Factory and CBGB. In 2004, drummer Jon Mele decided to move back to Ireland, leaving a vacancy in the band. Fortunately, the spot...
Full Bio
Down and Out In Shangri-la, changing modes
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  • $9.90
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: Dec 20, 2007

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