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Maintenant (TomLab)

Producer/engineer Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, Destroyer) and songwriter Nick Krgovich (P:ano) gathered a pop orchestra, chorus and vocalists into a Vancouver studio. They often recorded live to tape, evoking the sound and sensibility of the radio hit parades and the Brill Building of the early to mid-'60s. The thrill, though, of that era came from the single, singular and fleeting moments. Fifteen tracks are too many. Chorus-led tunes: unnecessary. A chorus is best when it backs and responds. For every honest, authentic gesture to the tradition on this album (say, "Dreams of Romance" with Zac Pennington), a similarly, kitschy take (such as "Everyone Can Tell" with Ryan Beattie) ruins it. Kitsch clogs!

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