The advent of folk-flecked indie-pop gives hope to The Lighthouse and the Whaler as the Columbus, Ohio, band sets out on its sophomore release, “This Is an Adventure.”
The music trend has been a welcome counterpart to overprocessed pop for the masses — a little Gotye to offset the Rihanna.
And the Lighthouse and the Whaler is long on charm, musical charm in the form of chiming percussion plus strings and glockenspiel, and vocal charm in the form of Michael LoPresti, a spritely singer who could be the upbeat son of The Cure’s Robert Smith.
Indeed, “This Is an Adventure” often seems rooted in fertile New Wave soil, from the loopy artpop of opener “Pioneers” through the liberating, primitive synths and slapping chorus of “Chromatic” (where LoPresti exclaims, “I think this is what it’s like to be free!”) to the Cure-ish “Venice,” where LoPresti turns “love” into a word with about 10 syllables when he sings, “Why don’t we fall in love?”
The ebullient buoyancy reaches a frothy high-water mark on “The Adriatic,” a sweet-natured roil where the vocalist reveals, “I was never closer than I am now to knowing who you really are.”
However, just as the Lighthouse and the Whaler delights, it numbs. For all his appealing naivete, LoPresti is a one-trick vocalist with his soaring whine-wail. There’s also a tonal sameness in the arrangements, and many songs feel unvaried and vaguely incomplete, miring “This Is an Adventure” in hipster-pop inertia.
So for some, “This Is an Adventure” will have no more lasting appeal than a red pair of men’s skinny jeans.
Rating: 3 stars (out of five)
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!