Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Thursday, March 12, 1998

Review - Cold and Bouncy

Artist: The High Llamas

Posted on Thu, Mar 12, 1998 at 4:00 AM

Since their formation, this Irish quintet has tirelessly crafted elaborate versions of an album that isn't even theirs to begin with. Bandleader Sean O'Hagen's obsession with "Smile," Brian Wilson's aborted late-'60s teen-age symphony to God, is leading him to a blissful oblivion. Where 1995's "Gideon Gaye" had an Irish flavor and 1997's "Hawaii" offered a rustic approach, "Cold and Bouncy" incorporates Wilson's arrangements with the electronic percolations picked up from the space-rock band Stereolab.

As The High Llamas get more ambitious, they achieve something analogous to making a computer enlargement of a sharp and colorful photograph: Boundaries stretch and the vision expands, but the material itself becomes increasingly flat. O'Hagen intersperses super-melodic vocal constructions between lush instrumentals for a series of pleasant but largely indistinguishable compositions. It seems more and more like the group long ago exceeded the outer orbits of pop and unknowingly floated off into space.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 19, 2022

View more issues


© 2022 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation