Gabriel Minnikin - Parakeets with Parasols

by Dan Clay Rating:8 Release Date:2012-03-08

Back in 2001 Jason Pierce and Spiritualized released a terrific album. Let It Come Down, filled with lush, sweeping orchestral delights wrapped around Pierce's distinctive voice showcased a band building on the success of their previous work and taking it to new heights. Fast forward to 2012 and Canadian Gabriel Minnikin, on his third album, appears to be doing the same.

Taking in everything from the Americana bluegrass of 'New Orleans' and 'Halifax Blues' to the Bright Eyes-like opener 'Land of Language', Minnikin clearly knows how to structure the unusual into something slightly magical. Nowhere is this best shown than on 'Three', with its sweeping orchestral intro which then morphs into jangly Beatles-esque pop and back again.

Elsewhere, the Spiritualized influence shows on the album's strongest tracks; the gospel sound of 'The Hand That Feeds You' stirs you and the chirpy 'A Christmas at Sea' stands out immediately as a cut above. Although the tendency to verge towards Nick Cave is a little too evident on the closing stretch, with both 'A Tune' and 'Song and Dance' a little too melancholy, the lullaby-like tones of 'Sleepy Dreamy Time' keep things swaying nicely on an album that should see Minnikin have his time in the sun and more; with or without the parasol.

A sweeping, parakeeting delight.

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