The Illustrated Garden

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Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The Los Angeles rock band's latest album introduces new members Be Hussey (bass) and Stevie Treichel (drums).
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Sure, this record doesn't quite match their best work, on 2002's ...and the Surrounding Mountains, but it is just as strong as anything else in their discography.
  2. The record spins the mood that Radar Bros. fans have come to expect: that feeling of being happily sunbaked and mildly delirious, subsisting on pure sensory intake.
  3. The "Americana" tag sticks thanks to the general country-rock tropes and all the natural imagery, but as usual the group excels at blurring the edges of an already blurry genre with spacey (but never indulgent) psych leanings, controls set for the heart of the sun but anchored comfortably down to earth.
  4. Mojo
    Warm and hazy liek a day spent in teh summer sun, The Illustrated Garden is a sumptuous honey-hued helping of soft-souled pop, unhurried Americana and the occasional spry rush of pop. [June 2010, p. 99]
  5. Putnam doesn't seem to be striving for something new, and if a new lineup isn't shaking up the formula, it’s likely that the music community shouldn't expect something new either.
  6. Under The Radar
    A new, punchier rhythm section augments frontman Jim Putnam's warm tenor here, wrapping itself around the fulsome piano and guitar arrangements like a tattered scarf. [Winter 2010, p.65]
  7. The songs work best when the record’s prevailing tone of opiated dreaminess is punctured with moments of unease: “All the birds are just chickens anyway / So we washed the blood from our hands.” Unfortunately, such moments are few.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
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  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of