Now Or Heaven
Listeners familiar with The Broken West’s exceptionally catchy and well-written debut full-length record, I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On (Merge, 2007), might be surprised at what they find on its follow-up. While sophomore effort Now Or Heaven isn’t a complete departure from the band’s first release on Merge Records, it moves away from the jangly, Byrds/Burrito Bros. sound that characterized much of I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On, and delves further into the blue-eyed soul influence heard in “Hale Sunrise.” If I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On is the musical equivalent of a late, hazy summer afternoon, its orange sun saturating the sky while it slides quietly toward the horizon, then Now Or Heaven is the sultry, neon-soaked evening that follows. It’s a smooth pop record in the vein of Spoon’s Girls Can Tell…think “Everything Hits At Once.” Now Or Heaven’s polished, ‘80s sounding production may rub some the wrong way, but when weighed against the plentiful hooks and pleasing harmonies it packs, that’s a minor gripe.
-- Matt Barber
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