Album review: "Days Into Years"
By Moira E. McLaughlin
Friday, March 9, 2012
Elliott Brood shows are known to be lively affairs. The Canadian alt-folk trio often distributes various kitchenware to the crowd to beat along to songs such as “Write It All Down for You.” It’s too bad the band didn’t incorporate a few tin cups and wooden spoons into its newest album, “Days Into Years,” to get a little more fired up. The album is a nice collection of mid-tempo, well-written songs that neither offend nor impress.
Opening track “Lindsay” is a tight and succinct tune with evocative lyrics and thoughtful arrangements that couple an electric guitar with a finger picking banjo. It’s an exciting beginning to the band’s third full-length album and should have foreshadowed what was to come. But by the third song, “If I Get Old,” the album feels a little flat and stale, and the guitar solo aimless. The song “My Mother’s Side” has some great and memorable licks, but they get lost in reverb, and Mark Sasso’s vocals are pinched, strained and affected throughout.
The problem may not be with the band or the tunes, but with the studio. This music makes sense in an intimate, live setting, where Sasso’s voice is warmer and more relaxed. With “Days Into Years,” it’s as if the band was trying to make a rock album but strayed too far from its wheelhouse and ended up with something that feels a little inauthentic.