Umbrellas
Illuminare


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sam Feldman's Rating USER (66 Reviews)
May 28th, 2010 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If you enjoy a little dejection on your summer evening, why not give Umbrellas a try?

The Umbrellas are a 4 piece pop band from Oklahoma that blend multiple catchy melodic hooks with somewhat depressing lyrics. Scott Windsor takes a page right out of the Ben Gibbard Handbook, guiding the lush sounds with a fragile voice that can range from uneventful to outstanding and memorable, sometimes in the same song. Heartbreak seems to be what Umbrellas are aiming for here on Illuminare, the band's 2nd offering and a complete step up from their self-titled debut. Tales of loss, friendship, loneliness, and meloncholy are all draped over a sound that is calm and beautiful, providing waves of melody to captivate the listener into a state of bliss. Perhaps this is why Illuminare succeeds on many levels; the harmony between dark lyricism and serene musicianship along with the fact that the songs themselves are well written makes for a somewhat one-of-a-kind experience.

The album starts out strong enough with lead single "Boston White", a song catchy enough to possess radio stations for months and gentle enough to touch the heart and soul. Windsor's soft vocals immediately invite the listener to sing along, while the spacey guitars rise to the occasion. The chorus takes off for great heights, showcasing what is to come for the rest of the album. While the songwriting isn't anything mindblowing, Illuminare never feels forced; it's constantly making its point and plays to the strengths of each musician. Each song is relatively made up in the same vein; a witty melodic line followed by soothing vocals: Illuminare drifts and cools like a mild summer breeze. While bass is present and felt through most of the tracks (especially on the thumping, beautiful "Thinking Of You"), it takes a backseat most of the time to the other instruments.

Another album highlight is "Ships", where Windsor takes off for new, yet undiscovered plateaus. The song starts off much like the others; beginning with a lovely little hook and moving through the verses and chorus with relative ease, it then repeats the already lavish chorus only to crank it to 11. Where Windsor yells for the heavens ''I wish I could sleep" you can't help but to feel it has affirmed Illuminare as a remarkable listen.

While Umbrellas may never headline a worldwide arena tour or have multiple platinum success, Illuminare is a beautiful little gem that illuminates love and heartbreak. The songs are catchy and witty while wave after wave of melody grace your ears and won't let go. This is a fabulous album to listen to while driving, hanging out, exercising, you name it. While the songwriting may seem repetitive at times, the musicianship inside the songs are almost always varied and keep things interesting the whole way through. Even with its flaws, the lush textures of Illuminare are superior to many overproduced albums encumbered with effects to give it sublime balance. If you enjoy a little dejection on your summer evening, why not give Umbrellas a try?



Recent reviews by this author
Women Public StrainHip Hatchet Coward's Luck
The Roots undunTwo Door Cinema Club Tourist History
Real Estate DaysJenny Hval Viscera
user ratings (14)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Dryden
May 28th 2010


13120 Comments


i enjoyed it

Dryden
May 28th 2010


13120 Comments


possibly :3

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2010


16787 Comments


one thing: "instraments" and the end of the second par. should be "instruments"

other than that, a very high quality review. i never really read your other stuff before, but this is outstanding. i especially like your use of italics. pos'd

Digging: Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy

Iamthe Nightstars
May 28th 2010


2314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review. I like this album a lot better than their first. The songs on here are more catchy and upbeat. These guys are recording another album this Summer so that's cool.

Enotron
May 29th 2010


7695 Comments


Sweet review. I'll check this out.

foreverendeared
May 29th 2010


14678 Comments


Good review, pos'd. I feel like I'd like this.

foreverendeared
May 29th 2010


14678 Comments


chambered, we have eerily similar genre pie charts

cirq
May 29th 2010


9265 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

love to see umbrellas get love..

cirq
June 20th 2010


9265 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i love these guys..

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2010


28781 Comments


ella ella ella eh eh eh

cirq
June 20th 2010


9265 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

both albums are fantastic.. check out the lyndsay diaries,, its scotts band before umbrellas

cirq
June 20th 2010


9265 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

again and again
you?

cirq
June 20th 2010


9265 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oo very pretty

cirq
June 20th 2010


9265 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

btw,, you can get their albums for $5 each or both for $8:: www.umbrellas.bigcartel.com


cirq
June 20th 2010


9265 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i got mine signed by him at one of their shows at chain reaction in anaheim

cirq
June 20th 2010


9265 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea,, me too

cirq
June 20th 2010


9265 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hehe
and the dude that started their record label (the militia group) used to rent from my parents.. thats how i found out about them

cirq
June 20th 2010


9265 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you should.. its the best state

cirq
June 20th 2010


9265 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

we vote on it in november :D

Iamthe Nightstars
February 26th 2011


2314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Don't understand the low ratings for this.



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