Parenthetical Girls – Entanglements

It was whilst listening to the harpsichord of Young Eucharists that something hit me – the album reminds me of the recently reformed (still?) mid-nineties band My Life Story.

Parenthetical Girls – Entanglements

(Tomlab) http://www.konkurrent.nl/

 

A piano tuning up and we’re off – jaunty violins and a Weimar-esque song complete with wavering vocals. Four Words hoofs along a fair old clip with the ghost (not that he’s dead) of Van Dyke Parks at the controls. It’s joyfully over the top - part toy orchestra, part school band and part camp sophistication. Avenue of Trees starts slowly before blossoming into a cartoon carnival waltz. Unmentionables has a touch of oompah to go with the falsetto; A Song For Ellie Greenwich features brass and a chorus that I thought was morph into The Carpenters but thankfully didn’t.

 

It was whilst listening to the harpsichord of Young Eucharists that something hit me – the album reminds me of the recently reformed (still?) mid-nineties band My Life Story. Both feature orchestrated pop, and both were helmed with clever-clever singer-songwriters. As with My Life Story what is perfectly fun for a song or two becomes a bit much over the course of an album (even a relatively short album like this one).

 

Just as one can only eat so much rich food before craving a cheese sandwich, so it is that after listening to several highly orchestrated tracks one craves the simple nihilism of someone like The Ramones. Such a release never occurs on Entanglements, but talking of cheese, there is a surprisingly faithful cover of Windmills of Your Mind. In summary: imagine if Zach Condon had turned his attention to showtunes instead of Eastern European music. Make of that what you will… (saints preserve us - ed)