December 08, 2003

The Marlboro Chorus "Good Luck"

Where the heck is Davenport, Iowa? I'll claim ignorance, but I'm pretty sure it's out in the middle of nowhere, and it seems a bit peculiar that such a small place could produce such an utterly wonderful indiepop record. (Then again, who considered Omaha, Nebraska for ANYTHING until a few years ago?) Still, I doubt that this assuredly charming city smack in the middle of Anytown, USA is in danger of becoming the Next Hip City, and that's okay with me, and I bet that's okay with them, too.

Good Luck, the debut by the dark horse Marlboro Chorus, is an album that's just utterly irresistable and totally relentless with its limitless supply of acoustic-pop hooks. Throw in some piano, some awesome lyrics and a really great singer, and you've got the formula for greatness. I really don't have much information on who does what, but it doesn't really matter; I think they'd rather be mysterious about themselves and let the music speak for itself, because they do have a lot to say, it seems. That they can say so much in under a half-hour is testament to the strength of their vision.

And they say it so well, too! The jingle-jangle acoustic guitar intro on album opener "Potters, Daisies" will wake you up--heck, I though that they were about to start a sing-song singalong! But as you're listening to this lovely song, they throw a curveball which will surely win you over--a piano! Yes, these guys mix it up rather nicely, and then, when you come to the next song, "The Unrulable Child," they do it again! And again..and again..and again! Utilizing all the tricks of the trade--including killer harmonies, winning melodies, some wonderful piano, lots of acoustic guitar jangle, and some masterful tempo changes--witness "Mrs. Bury-the-Bone"--Marlboro Chorus create a lovely racket that's traditional in nature but utterly modern in execution.

Good Luck is just one of the peppiest records I've heard all year. No pensive indiepoppers, these mysterious kids--they're not shy when it comes to their music. The best song? Heck, I can't tell you that. They're ALL the best song on the album, but right now "Always One For Fun" is doing me right. I really can't begin to tell you how wonderful Good Luck is; mere words do fail me, it seems. I could easily throw 5,233,634,262 words and letters your way to talk about how great this record is and I still wouldn't capture their greatness. Go do your ears a favor--go get this album right away. These Marlboros are smoking!

--Joseph Kyle

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