– Ghost Maps
– Please Don’t Throw My Love Away
– Secret Codes
…this new album continues the streak with ten songs of bittersweet rust-pop about North College Hill, lead singer Ben Walpole’s crumbling Midwestern hometown. The band paints a baroque portrait of the neighborhood-as-history, detailing childhood memories in a faded palette of strings, bells, and guitar jangle.
The Minor Leagues have been on Audio Gumshoe twice as feature artists [Shows 57 and 119] and twice on review shows [85 – Two Year Anniversary and 120 – 2009 Review]. Why do I continue to add them? Obviously, I like the band. I enjoy the sound that they create and they continue to create more music. I have often mentioned that I play music on the show that I like. That is no mystery. The music I share with listeners comes from all around the globe. For me, it is refreshing that some of these sounds come from less than 30 miles south of my home.
According to Michael Bond at Datawaslost.net, North College Hill is the latest release from The Minor Leagues. It was recorded at The Butcher Shoppe in Nashville, Tennessee. The band recorded the bulk of the tracks during a week in Summer, 2010 with producer Sean Sullivan. In my opinion, the effort has yielded a solid production, full of the gangly Brit-pop that I’ve so enjoyed from previous TML releases. Vocals are smooth, harmonies are tight and the retro-feel draws me in every time I listen.
Mike Breen, of Cincinnati-area CityBeat said,
The Minor Leagues have not only become known for their amazingly melodic Pop tunes, but also for their dedication to the “concept album” concept.
So true. What amazes me is the way that the band can build a concept album with themes that are often dark or melancholy and make me feel happy listening. The combination of strings, trumpet, and pop harmonies seem to give it a luster that one wouldn’t expect from such a theme. I’m not sure why, but it works.
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