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Album review: 'Talking Under Water' 

Talking Under Water

"Talking Under Water"

Self-released

talkingunderwater.bandcamp.com

I don't normally complain about the artwork, but on Talking Under Water's new, self-titled CD, the info is printed over a complicated background, rendering it virtually illegible. Still, I simply have to tell you about this tremendous album. I'm flying on instruments here, so please bear with me.

The album — the band's debut LP — opens with "Lost," a plaintive yet grand flourish of voice and an old piano, which rapidly outgrows your headspace as it heads toward uncharted orchestration. It's the seduction of a borderline lush cacophony. And then there's song number two, "We Used to Dream," where the power pop spectacle shows up like The Young Fresh Fellows wearing tuxedos. And if you have any residual sadness, latent melancholy, or un-cried tears, "Only the Strong Survive" will get the water works flowing.

Lyrically and in the face of its minor leaning, Talking Under Water still waxes sweetly poetic and romantic. Although it was written from a dark place — specifically Talking Under Water's Dave Chisholm's post-divorce world — the whole album brandishes brash, bright chops without threatening to harsh the mellow. The two sides to the music get on like siblings where each gets a turn at the piano that serves as the album's constant foundation. Talking Under Water is like a pop orchestra comfortably luxuriating in its own canyon. It's epic, powerful, atmospheric, and simply beautiful.

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