Cars & Trains
The Roots, The Leaves


3.5
great

Review

by Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS
February 2nd, 2010 | 7 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Nature and technology, indie and electronic, and a fine balance between the two.

I never knew Cars & Trains existed until the promo for The Roots, The Leaves showed up in my mailbox about a month ago. Another slew of demos, CD-Rs, well-written and some not-so-well-written press releases passed by, and poor Cars & Trains ended up either on the bottom of said pile... or in some dark crevasse of my loveseat. It honestly wasn't until I stumbled upon them again on one of my favorite blogs that I finally gave the record a long overdue fair shake. And well-deserved it was; mult-instrumentalist Tom Filepp's brainchild is, if anything, an unorthodox yet effective experiment in electronic-influenced indie music.

From a pure compositional perspective, The Roots, The Leaves impresses in its innate ability to come off as organic in every sense of the title. The multiple layers of melody, electronic as well as acoustic, come together harmoniously - almost as if electronic drums, banjo, glockenspiel, and viola were actually supposed to be regularly complementary. Filepp is an excellent songwriter if anything else; although his vocal tone may come off as brooding and monotonous at times, he never takes the emphasis off the rustic atmosphere and relaxed aura about the piece. The roots, the leaves indeed. And while it is definitely a successful melding of two seemingly opposing forces (nature and technology, acoustic instruments and electronic), an odd imbalance is nearly all-encapsulating here. Perhaps the choruses are too complex to be memorable, or he lyrically clashes with the intended atmosphere too much. Regardless, Cars & Trains are on the right track and need only channel this organic instrumentation with a bit more humanity next time around.



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user ratings (4)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Kiran
Emeritus
February 3rd 2010


6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i just got this a few days ago and i wasn't too impressed

i was hoping for something more electric president-y

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 3rd 2010


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

yeah this isn't shoegazer in the slightest.

the new electric president record is really good.

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2010


8007 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I like this a lot, and you are spot on about it feeling organic

Digging: Beach Slang - Cheap Thrills On A Dead End Street

Waior
February 5th 2010


11452 Comments


mult-instrumentalist


'though this could be intentional and I could be dumb

This sounds fun though, i'll investigate

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 5th 2010


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

yeah should be multi thanks

Kiran
Emeritus
February 8th 2010


6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this was better after a few more runs, solid album

joshuatree
Emeritus
February 10th 2010


3742 Comments


soby i think we have the same guy sending us shit because i have this too

nice enough album



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