The Impossible Shapes/Jai Agnish

The Impossible Shapes

The Great Migration

Luna

Jai Agnish

Automata

Blue Bunny

It took me so many listens before I could say anything about the Impossible Shapes. It didn’t 1) offend me or 2) bore me or 3) annoy me at all. I just couldn’t think of anything remarkable to say about it. When so much music falls into one of those three categories, it’s nice to hear anything that doesn’t. This takes so long because it is so very subtle, and all the exciting elements are tiny and cleverly hidden. Remember when a friend gave you a cassette of his band? You listened to it guardedly with every expectation that it would suck so hard that you would be too embarrassed to ever talk to him again. This album represents the kind of satisfaction and relief you find once you realize that the music is actually pleasant, well thought-out, fun, and better than Olivia Tremor Control.

Jai Agnish must be used in comparison here, because he and the Impossible Shapes are the same creature. The Impossible Shapes might be all shy indie-rock cleverness born in sheltered midwestern dorm rooms. Jai is bent on spreading the gospel, promoting Flygirl and Blue Bunny, and helping other like-minded Christian rockers like Soul-Junk. And while Jai’s music is a bit different, relying more on strange random sounds and homemade electronica, he and the Shapes do seem to be executing the same plan. And it’s taken me quite a while to figure out what that simple plan is, but I think I was in a bar recently by myself just looking around. I was not pleased with what I saw. Sometimes people look at our musical landscape and realize how little it actually means to them. At that point, they go out and make very personal records like these two. These are records which are not going to be remembered but will touch the few people who manage happen upon them.

Luna Music, 1521 W 86th St., Indianapolis, IN 46260; Blue Bunny Records, 43 Morris Ave, West Milford, NJ 07480.

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