Elephant Shoe (Jetset Records)
By: Alex Steininger
Emotionally raw, poignantly vulnerable, and still beautifully sad and sadly beautiful, Arab Strap's latest full-length, Elephant Shoe is a chilling yet relaxing walk down a dimly lit road on a cold, dry night. It is the sounds of fear, failure, heartache, and optimism. Elephant Shoe is dark, atmospheric pop for late nights and forgotten regrets. It is the life you don't want to live, but can't help craving. A glowing portrait of life and love as we know it.
Cherubs pulsates with deep, rhythmic pop melodies underneath the colorful gloom of fall. "One Four Seven One" burns with heat while soothing you over with shadows that protect you from the direct light. "Leave the Day Free" finds the band delving into haunting pop bliss. And "Tanned" finds the band opening up to let the day in, creating a warm, sunny pop number sure to put a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face. Not to mention a warm, burning sensation shooting throughout your body. All while "The Drinking Eye" freezes you in place with its passionate, deeply seductive beats and confusing, stone cold pop stare.
Arab Strap deliver off-kilter pop perfection throughout the eleven songs and fifty-seven minutes of Elephant Shoe. Honesty, charismatic, and distant enough to keep you chasing after it, Arab Strap is a band with a lot going on. And one of the rare few who let you see all of what is going on, while blinding you with something else at the same time. I'll give it an A+.
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