Future Clouds and Radar "Peoria" CD CD


1. The Epcot View
2. Old Edmund Ruffin
3. Feet On Grass
4. Mummified
5. 18 Months
6. The Mortal
7. Mortal 926
8. Follow The Crane

A year after former Cotton Mather frontman Robert Harrison re-emerged with the epic-scale debut of his project Future Clouds & Radar, he's scaled himself back with a more modest follow-up, 2008's Peoria. While the self-titled debut was a wildly eclectic set featuring 27 songs spread over two discs, Peoria's eight tunes clock in under 35 minutes, and there's a greater stylistic cohesion, though the twin nexus points of clever pop and 21st century psychedelia still dominate this music. Harrison's melodies are graceful and beautifully crafted, boasting an impressive elegance even when they rock out on "Eighteen Months" or jump into a bed of insistent rhythms on "The Mortal", and the production (by Harrison with help from Dave Fridmann) maintains a careful balance between straightforward presentation of Harrison's music and creatively marring the surfaces with electronic texturing and mixing board trickery. Harrison's vocals are even more impressive on Peoria than they were on FC&R's debut, and the music is lovely and bewitching, but somehow this album feels somewhat truncated, as if never quite gets the chance to shift into fifth gear before it draws to a close, and it's hard not to get the feeling this music deserves a broader canvas, like an overgrown EP that was nipped in the bud before it fully blossomed into an album. Despite this, Peoria leaves no question that Harrison's gifts and musical vision remain intact, and with any luck the third Future Clouds & Radar album will fulfill the promise of this work