July 18, 2002

The Sunshine Fix "Age of the Sun"

If you've visited the "bookshelf" page found elsewhere on this website, you'll surely have noticed something called "Book." Now I won't take the time to simply talk about this project right now--I've got a record to review, after all--but you'll notice that this little treasure has hand-painted covers. Painting, while fun, can be time consuming, especially when you want everything to look exactly how you imagined it.

So, for giggles, I put The Sunshine Fix's debut album, Age Of The Sun. Creative music for creative time, especially when I'm painting little fluffy clouds in the sky. Apparently, Age Of The Sun is a concept album--or at least a themed album--about the sun. Literally. Songs about the sun itself, songs with "sun" or a reference the sun in the title. There's nothing wrong with that, because the music itself is quite cheery, upbeat, and (hee-hee) sunny.

This is inspired 60s pop with tinges of psychedelic rock along the edges. No surprise, either, seeing as this is the band of Olivia Tremor Control man Bill Doss--excuse me--TheBillDoss. With that said, you're bound to expect breezy lo-fi pop songs with oblique (sometimes dopey) lyrics, mixed in with quaint instrumentals. Sure, there's that whole "Brian Wilson is God" thing going on here, to which I say "ewwwww" because his cries for help are that, and nothing more, AKA there's a reason Smile was never finished. Of course, there's more to the 60's than Brian Wilson, and Sunshine Fix spend a great deal of time with...The Lovin' Spoonful? Yup, I've heard that quite a bit as I painted today. I kept expecting TheBillDoss to start singing "You didn't have to be so nice..." on "Digging to China." Tribute vs. Out-and-Out-Plundering has always been par for the course with Elephant 6, and The Sunshine Fix are no exception to this at-times annoying rule.

I'll admit, Age of the Sun wouldn't be all that fun for me to listen to in a sit-down situation. Why? Because the music isn't sit-down music. It's "let's do/not do drugs and get creative" type of music, and as such, I felt really inspired. So much so that my skies in my pictures were pink and the clouds were all yellow, and it seemed right. The colors..the colors...the colors! Sunshine Fix brought different colors in. And then, after skipping past "Le Roi-Soleil," the only pointless song on the CD--the word "sun" stretched out for twenty minutes really is pointless--my 5th Dimension greatest hits CD came on, and I continued to experience the colors of the Sixties, and I was happy, because I was experiencing the real thing. The Sunshine Fix is a nice little fix for those moments when you can't have the 60s psych-pop, but, like methadone or the nicotine patch, it pales in comparison to the real thing.

---Joseph Kyle

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