Cardinal (Wishing Tree/Empyrean)

Cardinal 

Cardinal (Wishing Tree/Empyrean)

Once you get past the way opening song "If You Believe in Christmas Trees," with its fey title, its Masterpiece Theatre trumpet overdubs and Richard Davies and Eric Matthews' crisp elocution, recalls Spinal Tap's "(Listen to the) Flower People," Cardinal weaves a bit of a spell. The 10-year-old album, here given a loving reissue with 11 bonus tracks and liner notes by Davies and Matthews, has since been bettered by the solo work of both songwriters. But as a soil sample of a narrow tract of underground '90s pop that consciously walled off grunge, hip-hop and the British Evasion, it remains invitingly fertile, all harmonies, harpsichord and happy affectation. If Belle and Sebastian at first seemed like the era's new Zombies, Matthews and Davies were ready to be its Left Banke. Which means this reissue is still 15 years early -- and more valuable as a result.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Scott Wilson

Latest in Hear & Now

Facebook Activity

All contents ©2015 Kansas City Pitch LLC
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Kansas City Pitch LLC,
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.

All contents © 2012 SouthComm, Inc. 210 12th Ave S. Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. (615) 244-7989.
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of SouthComm, Inc.
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
Website powered by Foundation