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Sheepish
Artist: Martin Carpenter
Label: Paisley Pop 
Length: 36:51
 
This is not "Michael" Carpenter-an easy mistake to make--I did it at first. This is the debut from Iowan Martin Carpenter.

Sheepish is grade A midwestern power pop, full of catchy riffs, guitar arpeggios, and a wonderful, insistent urgency that leads to the repeat button. Spanning a wide stylistic spectrum, you will hear touches of Shoes, Elvis Costello, The Church, Lovin' Spoonful, NRBQ, Rich Young Ruler and the Elms to mention just a few. Carpenter's vocals are unhurried and earnest-often oddly achingly beautiful. BVGs are simple and perfect. 
 
Lyrically, Carpenter gives us much to chew on-way more than meets the ear here. Opener "Teethmarks" bites with its harder edge-classic power pop guitar, tells the story of an relationship that is over. With its Cars-like intro, "I Am Low" shows reverence to a relation, as opposed to "Far To Go" which talks of a man trapped with a broken soul. On the spiritual level-"Red Carnation" gives glimpses on a place where the pompous go to be made meek, where the maniacs go to get some sleep. "You don't need no invitation/all you need is a sense that you belong/they will pin you with a red carnation/and they'll read your name for the top of a whiterock stone." "Something Sweet" asks the age old question ," isn't there something more."

Personal favorite is "Withering."  With its "Didn't Have to Be So Nice" guitar, the amazingly helplessness of the lyric and simplistically wonderful melody, it is Napoleon Dynamite times 10. But the character "will try/ I swear, by God, I Will Try." Welcome to our world.

A pure pop understated beauty not to be missed.
 
Bo Felberg 7/27/2005
 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 
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