Powerpop CD Review: Sun Sawed in 1/2 – Elephants into Swans
Imagine walking into the Elephants into Swans Diner. You have your choice of any number of empty tables and rest your elbow on a red checkered tablecloth. Glancing around the room, you become a bit nervous after realizing that you’re the only customer in this tin covered trailer. You open a menu.
You read through columns A, B, and C only to discover that all the items on the menu are actually variations of the same thing. The only thing the chef could get at the butcher that morning was Sun Sawed in Half. You’ve never had Sun Sawed in Half so you ask your waitress what it tastes like. “Taste’s like Jellyfish”, Flo says while she puffs on a Lucky Strike.
But Chef Rose is a very creative cook, we’re told. We’re assured that each “cut” has its own unique twist, making all twelve “courses” a unique experience.
While the first couple of cuts are pleasing to those who are partial to Jellyfish, the third cut really grabs the taste buds. “Brittle Star” pulls out all the bubblegum pop stops and almost reminds me of XTC’s “Cherry in Your Tree”. “Ocean”, a slower tune, is perfectly placed so as to cleanse the palate before the coup de grace, the irresistibly delicious “Countess I Fear Something’s Wrong”.
But there’s more! Wait until you hear “Hobby Horse” with its sticky sweet chorus. As Chef Rose describes it:
“On this song, I (Tim) played a tiny keyboard part for the first time on a Sun album. We wanted to make a groovy track that had a blend of Neil Young, Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz and XTC. Sounds easier that it is.”
Elephants into Swans closes with “Waltzing in Clover”, another favorite. The opening few seconds sound like we’re about to get a heapin’ helpin’ of Beatles, but by the time the chorus rolls around, its classic bubblegum. And that’s a good thing. “Waltzing in Clover” reminds me of any number of 60’s sunshine pop records that got me hooked on music as a kid. It’ll leave you with an “everlasting, gobstopping grin”.