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seniors and juniors

What's that you say? Your holidays are in need of more Elephant 6 cheer? Well, fret no more, my friends, for Santa has arrived with a sack full of delicious pop gems (but, sadly, no marzipan). The Marshmallow Coast is basically one man's vision. That man is Andy Gonzales, a part-time member of both The Music Tapes and Of Montreal, which by association gives the album its Elephant 6 cheer. On Seniors and Juniors Gonzales weaves a gentle tapestry of incandescent melody and sweeping emotion. Upon first listen the album comes off as rather childlike, but subsequent airings allow a fragile beauty and tattered whimsicality to shine through. The opening track, "Off to School," carries a piano line that I swear sounds like the theme from Jacques Cousteau's underwater exploration specials, while at the opposite end of the album, "Home from School" offers a countrified instrumental with a bouncy rhythm and plucky keyboard swirls. And I must mention the fact that the title track's catchy-as-hell chorus sounds exactly like the song the Whoos are singing while holding hands around their departed Christmas tree in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. It even includes the same tinkling xylophone accompaniment! Throughout its 13 song sprawl, Seniors and Juniors takes in elements of country, pop, jazz and folk, effortlessly blending them into its own unique sound. Stoke the fire, get some milk and cookies, pop in Seniors and Juniors and wait for the big guy to come blasting down your chimney.

The Marshmallow Coast
Seniors and Juniors

click for Real Audio Sound Clip
Buy it at Insound!
reviewed by Jason Jackowiak

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