5 Second Review: Islands- Arm's Way

Excellently esoteric Canucks return with their sophomore effort- but will it please as much as 2006's Top 10-reaching 'Return To The Sea'?


  • When they want to, they can still make seemingly off-kilter numbers into major crowd pleasers. For example....
  • Creeper is weird, but great. Particularly the middle section.
  • There's a strange funky, Stevie Wonder thing going on in some parts. And a strange pirate-y feel with some of the tenor-sax. Which is good. (I don't really know what I mean by pirate-y, that's just what I hear. Am I crazy? Maybe...).
  • Nick Diamonds still knows how to write a pop song, which is commendable.
  • The epic madness of Vertigo is really excellent.
  • Kudos has to be given to the character of the whole thing.

  • The strings are pretty consistently poor. The two violin players seem to be content with (and at times quite excited about) playing the most bloody obvious thing they could possibly play. Opening track The Arm is a particular offender. The song's hook is on strings, and is so clich├ęd it makes me want to immediately skip the track.
  • It appears that Diamonds has pushed his quest for choruses too far, with some songs being ruined by the presence of a segment whose only purpose is repetition (Pieces of You). And it sticks out like a sore thumb.
  • Much as it's a shitty thing to compare new albums to old, this album really suffers from the lack of a Where There's a Will There's a Whalebone or a Rough Gem.
  • Filler filler filler filler. There's quite a bit.

Not quite a great follow up. In fact, I can't help but be disappointed. It appears that maybe the band's focus as a unit may have lost some of the crazy eclecticism that made their previous album such a delight. There's still whispers of greatness though, so hopefully the kinks will be ironed out for album three.


Pieces of You

Click for mp3

Islands on myspace

Stumble Delicious Technorati Twitter Facebook