(Le Pop Musik)
For all the promise he showed on that self-titled album he
dropped in 2006 – and we’re talking some serious promise here — there’s not an
expectation Andrew Collberg falls short of exceeding on his latest effort, On the Wreath.
The Swedish-born, Tucson-based songwriter hasn’t lost the
charms of that first album. But the writing’s gotten stronger (hell, he’s 22
now), the production more sophisticated.
Joey Burns of Calexico adds cello to the haunting “Wait
Inside” and producer Nick Luca is seemingly everywhere – on mandolins, banjo,
accordion, bass harmonica, keys and more – while Collberg himself plays marimba,
melodica, vibes, bells, autoharp…the list goes on. The end result is a fully
realized chamber pop effort that eases you in with the sweet countrypolitan
ache – with bells! — of “Clouds of All Your Rain” and follows through with
such obvious highlights as the hazily Lennonesque “Clementine” to the “Plastic
Bows,” a wistful gem that makes the most of a tambourine, lap steel, a
multi-tracked trumpet and Collberg’s bittersweet falsetto.
Best of all, it holds together as an album in a day and age
when people Collberg’s age would rather cherry-pick their favorite songs and
move on to another artist.
of All Your Rain,” “Plastic Bows” A. WATT