Album review: Camera Obscura, Desire Lines

By Graham Reid

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Album cover for Desire Lines. Photo / Supplied
Album cover for Desire Lines. Photo / Supplied

Scotland's Camera Obscura have consistently delivered a line in thoughtful, sunshine-baked pop that still allows room for deep emotional shadows. For this album they took their songs off to Portland where producer Tucker Martine added some extra lustre, and Neko Case and Jim James (My Morning Jacket) dropped by to add extra vocals. But central always is Tracyanne Campbell's warm, sometimes slightly weary and always engaging voice on crafted songs that soar (Troublemaker), engage in propulsive guitar-driven power pop-lite (Do it Again, the very 50s-sounding Every Wednesday) or sweep you up in a melancholy mood (the sway and shimmer of New Year's Resolution, which includes promising "to kiss you like I mean it"). They are also adept at ballads where the singer is on a windswept beach under late summer sun (Cri de Coeur, Fifth in Line to the Throne). Camera Obscura's considerable charms have largely gone past people here - their 2006 Let's Get Out of This County is particularly recommended - and that's perhaps because they aren't indie enough, are perceived as lightweight pop (I Missed Your Party here is ammunition) or are too much the burned romantics for cynics.

However, they await your attention and affection.

Stars: 4/5
Verdict: Warm music and cool breezes from Glasgow

- TimeOut / elsewhere.co.nz

- NZ Herald

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