Album Reviews

The Ruby Suns – Christopher (Sub Pop)

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The Ruby Suns ChristopherThe ethereal pop of The Ruby Suns falls somewhere within a Brian Eno-meets-Joy Division soundscape, cut from a Pet Sounds mold, building layer upon layer of synth melodrama. Suns mastermind Ryan McPhun has a vision for marshmallow pop nirvana straight out of 1981, but laces it with a sense of underlying charm and massaged craftsmanship, ensuring against the sterility that too often mired the synthesized pop of the genre’s early 80’s MTV-soaked golden age.

With repeat listening guaranteed to unearth new melodic shades and sonic colors, Christopher induces butterflies in the stomach as well as cloud-strewn daydreams. Tracks like “Desert Of Pop” contain multi-tacked vocal happiness, set to adventurous, dance hall programming (one gets the impression live drums couldn’t keep up with McPhun’s level of eccentricity). “Dramatikk” is as ambient as the busiest New Order soundrush (their track “Bizarre Love Triangle” immediately comes to mind), while “Kingfisher Call Me” eases up on the synth to let  the vocals breathe a bit more, enough to invoke a Broken Frame-era Depeche Mode vibe.

Seemingly artistically re-awakened by time spent in solace amid Scandinavia’s pop scene, and drawing inspiration from classic electronica babble, Christopher is Ryan McPhun’s stab at bubblegum-trance immortality.

– Mark Uricheck

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