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The Nothing Venture
Artist: Five O' Clock People
URL: http://www.fiveoclockpeople.com
Label: Pamplin Records
Time: 11 tracks/51:53

So Far Gone (sample)

This northwestern quintet has put together a brilliant introductory album. While new to most of us, Five O'Clock People have been not-so-quietly building a strong regional fan-base.  Due to this support, they finally garnered the attention of Pamplin Records.

Stylistically, they fit well into the "coffeehouse" style.  Much like Caedmon's Call, there's a clever combination of thoughtful lyrics, acoustic instruments, and multiple vocalists.  Along the way, there's a cover of the LSU song "Blame," which turns out better than the original, although in a totally different context than Mike Knott's.

Their original music is no slouch either.  The first track opens with what sounds like keys on a trash can.  The track as a whole sets the tone for the entire album.  It has a light touch, full-sounding without being overwrought, and suitably moody lyrics:

The quest for faith is a lunar endeavor
Not warmer and brighter but darker and wetter
I trudge and I slip as I reach out for daylight
But grasp only fistfuls of night
I wonder is doubt the way of faith?
It's both thoughtful and honest without being overly sappy or too dark to be enlightening. Other standout tracks include "Sorry," "So Far Gone," "Fall Silent," and the interlude and postlude, with their haunting refrain of "Sometimes think of You..."

On the album, there's touches of accordians, Wurlitzer, B-3, slide guitar, mandolin, harmonica, violin, and the list goes on. The vocal work by all three vocalists, Alex Walker, Drew Grow, Patrick Retreault is quite good, lacking the nasal quality that is often found in folk and coffeehouse singers.

This album is easily as good as Caedmon Call's most recent effort, if not better, and should receive a lot of attention.

Alex Klages 1/13/2000


 
 
 
 
 

 

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