Album Review: Generally, Cue the Moon's Thought Forgotten Spoken combines the electronic floatiness of Air, the glossy downer-pop of Elliott Smith, a few nods to other classic alt-rockers, an occasional prog-rock riff, and the band's own talent, resulting in a slightly inconsistent but nonetheless enjoyable set of tracks.
The album begins with the inexplicable inclusion of a child's ditty, "It's Me, Oh Lord." But the song is very short, a mercifully brief delay before the good stuff gets underway. Song two is "Pox." It initially feels like a slightly edgier incarnation of the lush, driving stuff Tears For Fears perfected, but near the end the song moves into a delicate, gorgeous passage reminiscent of the Beatles in their groove-pop phase.
The first time I heard the song "Choose Your Weapon," my reaction was literally, "Wow!" This should be a breakout song for the band, though of course the fickle music biz often has a way of leaving such fairness unrealized. Either way, many artists never create a song this good even once, so Cue the Moon can be proud of the achievement.
"Owner Revisited" does a beautiful job with the minor-chord anthemic rock that groups like Sweet and Big Star pioneered. The haunted sound in "Learn to Swim" works well; and similarly, "Genevieve" and "Ocean Song" are a spooky blend of The Church and The Clientele.
At the bottom line, "Choose Your Weapon" and "Pox" are good enough by themselves to recommend this album. None of the other songs offer that initial wow-factor, and some of them spend too much time playing in the moody end of the pool, noodling around with electronic sounds. But the appeal of the songs increases with repeated listenings, as your brainwaves synchronize with the musical smarts buried in the previously unheard deeper layers.
Cue the Moon's Thought Forgotten Spoken is a good effort, and the stand-out qualities of "Pox" and "Choose Your Weapon" should ensure the album gets the critical and popular recognition it deserves.