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The Trouble With Flying

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Album Review

During the first decade of the 21st century, many bands seemed to be ensnared by the darkness and cynicism of the Bush years. Navel gazing and brooding meditations predominated, but just when things were looking utterly hopeless, Mitch Davis (aka Orba Squara) came along to sprinkle his own loopy brand of lysergic sunshine all over your blues. Davis has an uncanny knack for finding lighthearted humor in the most mundane situations. On "New Guitar," for example, he wonders if he should buy a new instrument or a new car, despite his sentimental attachment to his well-worn and familiar possessions. The jaunty melody is as carefree as a teenage summer day and he sings about his guitar and car like they're old friends. It's an unlikely love song, but so full of simple affection that it melts your heart. "Tell Me" illuminates the pleasures a mundane conversation may have when you're talking to someone your care about. A skewed electric guitar solo brings a delicate tension to the mostly acoustic strumming and whispered vocal. Davis plays the tender melody of "Very Very (Snow in June)" on toy piano. It's another batty song of subtle seduction full of touching emotion. The title track matter-of-factly drops a bit of sitar into the mix and features a guest vocal by arena rock vet Billy Squier. The album's most rockin' track, with the duo's bright harmonies adding extra spirit to the song's uplifting tale of risk and redemption, "All the Colors (Picture Perfect)" is a joyful bit of psychedelicized Motown produced with minimal drums, acoustic guitar, and a toy keyboard. The simple "woo hoos" of the chorus will have you grinning from ear to ear, and the way Davis weaves the colors of the rainbow into the lyric is pure genius. ~ j. poet, Rovi


Born: New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Orba Squara is the indie pop brainchild of Mitch Davis, a New York-based singer/songwriter with an ear for simple, uncluttered melodies. The project was launched in the mid-2000s, when Davis decided to replace his former approach to music -- which involved the heavy use of electronics and electric instruments -- with a simple, homegrown sound. Using such "organic" instruments as mandolin, accordion, and toy pianos, Davis single-handedly crafted Orba Squara's debut album, Sunshyness. Word of mouth...
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The Trouble With Flying, Orba Squara
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