The Sky Life

Roots And Wings

Written by: TL on 04/01/2011 15:53:28

Okay, okay, okay, so NO, I didn't get all my promos done in time for New Years, and I guess that makes me a very bad man, stringing bands along like that. Let me assure you however, that I have none but the most earnest intentions to clear my back log as fast as I can, and hence, with no further introduction, here's a review of "Roots And Wings" by Canadian quintet The Sky Life.

The album is the band's second LP, and on it they construct a quite characteristic electronica/pop/rock sound. The atmosphere is airy, built around lofty keys in the front and distorted guitar chords in the background, and complimented by various electronic touches. The focal point is the singing of frontman Justin Carter, whose voice is on many occasions noticeably autotuned, but before you run for the hills, I think it's worth noting that the use of the infamous software, is actually done quite classy in this case. As for references, bands I find myself thinking of when listening to "Roots And Wings" are PlayRadioPlay (who are now Analog Rebellion), Owl City and Angels And Airwaves.

Speaking of Angels And Airwaves though, I find that "Roots And Wings" suffer from deficiencies similar to those that generally plague that band. Things start of well, with the soundscape being mildly exciting, but often when you reach the end of a song, you feel like maybe the chorus didn't quite deliver, or maybe things generally were just a bit too light in terms of substance. Over the first half of the record, it's not so much of a problem, because songs appear at least semi-catchy (see for instance: "Roots And Wings" or "Spinning Around"), but even at a normal twelve track length, things start to sound samey towards the second half, and your attention is more or less sent drifting.

Overall, I can't say that this LP has made a very lasting impression on me, mainly because I think the band needs to focus less on creating an intriguing soundscape (they have that part down already) and more on tightening up the song writing, because in all honest, these hooks aren't all that strong. Clear that hurdle however, and we'll talk about some nicer grades on the next record.

Download: Roots And Wings, Spinning Around, Neon Stars
For The Fans Of: PlayRadioPlay!, Owl City, Angels & Airwaves,
Listen: The Sky Life @

Release Date 09.11.2010
Deep Elm Records

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