Tally Hall
Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sean Rizzo USER (32 Reviews)
March 4th, 2010 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: We like to play it all. Welcome to Tally Hall!

From all the discussions about the Beatles I’ve witnessed – whether or not they’re legitimate legends or just obnoxious pop stars being a popular one – I’ve derived one thing for sure: most people instinctively embrace any form of medium with an optimistic tone. Of course you’ve got the “life sucks” portion of the population, but half of them are either just attention-starved or depressed over a single event in their life, and thus could be swayed in the positive direction with another single event. So, for most, even just one listen of the upbeat and carefree tunes of Ann Arbor, MI based Tally Hall will offer a remedy for escaping the monotony that is life. The five young men that make up the band, who refer to themselves as five different colors plus “tie”, have a similar goal in mind as the Beatles: making feel-good music that the majority of the masses will love, all the while never taking themselves seriously (that’s not to say the Beatles never wrote a serious song, but for the sake of this comparison I’ll subtract emphasis away from that part.)

If I had to throw a label on Tally Hall, it’d (reluctantly) be indie rock. But as you listen to Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum, their only full-length, your inclination will be to admit you’re just listening to feel-good rock. They venture well into pop and folk, as well as country and even hip-hop, but no matter what avenue Tally Hall is taking, the final product always has the same feel and mood. When this mood is an optimistic and carefree one, you’ll assume that at some point it wanders into the realm of straight-up obnoxiousness. Between the constant group vocal melodies, bouncy piano lines, Queen-esque musings, and scattered sound effects, I would agree, but it only reaches the obnoxious levels on Marvin a few times. An easy example is “Banana Man”; its outright silly vocal effects and rapid lyric delivery fronting a busy percussion section reminiscent of Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys is enough to turn off some. Conversely, the same vocal effects coupled with group harmonies that lead the storybook number “Spring and a Storm” work together for the better, although I’m not sure I can explain why.

All of this is wrapped in a present with shiny paper made especially for fans of the silly, bright, and positive prospects of life. Even the Weezer inspired alt rock romp “Two Wuv” follows this agenda. The song is also a prime example of the band’s self-awareness and how they make a careful point to avoid getting too serious; it’s a love song dedicated to Mary-Kate and Ashley. Perhaps the most impressive thing about this album is that despite the staggering array of sounds, it manages to take hold of a serious sense of continuity. Amidst the xylophones, maracas, hand claps, and bulk shipments of whimsical lyrics, Tally Hall never abandon their core mission statement, which is to ravish in a huge field in the spring time without a care in the world.

Marvin gives us a generous helping of what Tally Hall is all about, and it works nine times out of ten, even when it’s near impossible to explain why. This record seems like what Panic at the Disco’s Pretty. Odd. tried to be, and what Pet Sounds (sans the infamous and widely-considered genius collaborative songwriting and vocal harmonies) would be if it came out in the last decade. Tally Hall is one of the closest things to being this decade’s Beatles there is, but what’s more worth pointing out is that they pull it off – whatever it may be – pretty well. Along with this notion comes the inevitable tendency to get obnoxious or annoying, but it’s forgivable in the big picture because this record generally rules, and will almost undoubtedly put you in a better mood. A worthy fit in most any music fan’s roster, Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum is sure to bring smiles and singalongs any time its distinct album art shows up on your iPod. Be warned, though: it can be frustratingly catchy. Listen at your own risk.



Recent reviews by this author
Showbread CancerShowbread Age of Reptiles
Showbread No Sir, Nihilism Is Not PracticalShowbread Who Can Know It?
Derek Webb Stockholm SyndromeTwothirtyeight Regulate the Chemicals
user ratings (41)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
IAmInsect
March 4th 2010


3799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

first review in 199 years. here's the album art: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f5/Marvins_Marvelous_Mechanical_Museum.jpg

i've asked the mods a couple times to fix it.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2010


15070 Comments


GREAT album

JWT155
March 4th 2010


9319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fuck yea, these guys rule.

scotish
March 4th 2010


835 Comments


never heard of em, but great review (y)

DiceMan
March 4th 2010


7068 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is quite a peculiar album... Hmm...

JWT155
March 4th 2010


9319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's awesome, that's what it is.

tables
March 4th 2010


126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is hilarious, there's a whole thing at my school where a couple of kids are basically promoting these guys, hanging up posters and giving people necklaces based on the colored ties these guys wear.

And then this review shows up.

Awesome

IAmInsect
March 5th 2010


3799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thx for adding the art

East Hastings
July 1st 2010


4392 Comments


here he come, the banana man

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2010


15070 Comments


this album was my jam like 3 years ago


awesome

Monstar1790
July 1st 2011


136 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

If you guys haven't heard it yet, the new album is phenomenal. Check it out.

Digging: Devin Townsend Project - Z2



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy