Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Islands Return!

And so the glorious return of the Islands finally becomes conceptualized: Album title? Check: Arm's Way. Release date? Double check: April 24th on Rough Trade. New song? Hat trick, baby!

Today, Nick Diamonds and company posted our first taste of the new album, "The Arm", on the band's Myspace page. Hear for yourself at islandsareforever.

On first listen, it's bigger than what we've come to expect from the motley Canadians. The production has certainly increased tenfold from Return to the Sea, which was recorded almost entirely in a bedroom. Instead, we get a full-fledged guitar and orchestra assault that has an unabashed polish all over it. It may also be a hint at what the rest of the album has in store, as this thing has "concept" written all over it. Granted, Diamonds' lyrics have always been delightfully cabalistic, but examine, for a second, the prose of this chorus:

"In a lifeless carcass,
In a bad-ass car crash,
hopefully you wake up soon."

We'll see, but I'll be willing to bet those would make a lot more sense in the grand scheme of things. And lest we forget the last movement of the song, swinging from Broadway, a coda Sondheim himself might have composed if he were a much hipper, younger Canuck.

Final verdict, though, based on an hour's worth of "The Arm"? This album will more-likely-than not rule.

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