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[The Coldplaying Review] Eskimo Joe - A Song is a City


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Eskimo Joe - A Song is a City




Released May 16th, 2004




Now here’s a relatively unknown album, unless of course, you live in Australia. In which case, you’ve probably heard the bands new attempt at an album, ’Black Fingernails, Red Wine’. Here’s a quick look at their work before then.


Starting with the gentle strumming of an acoustic guitar, and the strained voice of an Australian who doesn’t seem to know what nationality he actually belongs to, “Come Down” seems to set a high precedent for the rest of the album, into the chorus, with the voice changes dramatically into a beautiful falsetto, backed by a Jonny Buckland-esque lead riff and finally building up into a resolve of drums, piano, guitar and vocal harmony. Quite a nice opener. Next comes the ‘hit’ of the album, “From the Sea”. A song that can best be described as ‘bloody brilliant!’ All instruments work perfectly together in this song, with the drums and piano being the standout acts, creating possibly the best song of the album. “Life is Better with You” is maybe my least favourite song on the album. It just seems to reek of a band trying too hard to be something they’re not, although it still has it’s moments. This song may have worked if it was the last track. “Older than You” is a short and sweet pop song, not great, but it works very well on the album and is a great contrast to the next song, the title track, “A Song is a City”. This song takes on a very different pace to the rest of the album, low tempo, and sounding more ’sinister’, for lack of a better word, very similar to something you might hear by Matchbox Twenty, with large focus on the vocals. “Don’t let it Fly” comes next, a song with a great feeling of sorrow, very Britpop, this song is a necessity on the album to try to dampen the happy mood seemed to be set by the start of the album. The next song, “I’m so Tired” repeats continually building up to a huge anti-climax at the end of the song., leading into “Seven Veils”. Another contender for worst song on the album, if I had the power to get rid of one song off this album, it would be this one. It just plain doesn’t fit, in my opinion it doesn’t even sound like b-side material, far too clichéd, using the same old methods way too much. This next song, “Smoke”, is straight out of Britain. Never has an Australian band so successfully taken the Britpop style and done something so great with it. Excellent song, full of remorse. Next up, “Carousel”, is a 1:18 track, which actually only does anything for about a minute, sounding like a man singing backwards to a music box and then reversing it, it isn’t ever going to be considered great, but it still works. “This Room” really shouldn’t be on the album, by this point you are sick of this song, because it seems like you’ve already heard it 3 times already. And the final song, “Car Crash” is an outstanding closer which I sat listening to continually thinking it was going to be spoiled by the a sudden burst of sarcastic-sounding guitar riffs and drum rolls, it had perfect moments to come in. But the band stayed true and finally the song burst out into something completely unexpected, at the end of the song, which worked better than anything else could have. It is this style of intelligence which saves this album from being not too clichéd.


All up, this album is a nice reflection-type album. It would be best described as an Australian band trying to create Britpop, but failing pretty badly and changing it into something else, this is by no means a bad thing. It just stops it from sounding like every other band today. This is an album of relaxing, yet frantic music. It is never going to be on any ‘greatest album’ lists, but it is something nice to have at your disposal.

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this is one of my favourite albums. i thought it flowed along nicely and am really happy with it. one of those albums where i listened to it over and over as well as when i went to sleep. comfortable and relaxing, maybe not groundbreaking. but i loved it. now you have all these negative comments about it lol... ive never looked at some of the stuff in that light before lol...

my fave songs are: From The Sea, Smoke, Come Down, Im so Tired and Car Crash and Older Than You. lol thats a fair few, but i think this album is fairly over average and easy to listen to.

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