Album Review :
Red Umbrella - Living and Surviving

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Artist: Red Umbrella
Album: Living and Surviving
Label: 7 Spin Music
Release Date: 11/11/08
Reviewed By: Tyler Hess

1. Prison Side
2. Intervention
3. Forest Fire
4. Beckoning
5. Boompop
6. Living & Surviving
7. Whisper All Of Your Love
8. Turn Turn Turn
9. Crazy (All Of Me)
10. Babbling Brook

It took a lot less than covering the Beatles “Turn Turn Turn” to see that these Canadian rockers were being heavily influenced by that British Invasion Euro-pop stuff that has shown itself a little bit here and there.  In the same light, it doesn’t take all that long to realize that they do have a good amount of talent to right a good pop song that reminds me of watching The Wonder Years as a wee lad and thinking this would have been good music for a good home made video for those crazy kids.  I guess they had to settle for Ringo Starr for some reason.  Either way, these synth laden pop songs are quite catchy without becoming all that tiresome over multiple spins and their lyrics aren’t without merit themselves.  The songs tend to be in a story format, such as the opening track “Prison Side’, which recounts what happens when the judgmental are judged themselves.  Besides the Beatles cover, probably the catchiest song is “Crazy” with “Prison Side” and “Forest Fire” not far behind.  “Boompop” is probably the strangest, which sounds a lot like recent Starflyer 59 work with a random rap in the middle that should make anyone cringe.  Despite that one flaw in the middle of the album, this is pretty seemless, though some of the tracks in the middle can be rather forgettable.

Summary:  With a little bit of backing, Red Umbrella could take this retro rock sound and make something out of it.  Other recent bands might have done it a bit better, but this is a step in the right direction and a pretty fun record in the meantime.