Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc’s subtly clever tapestry of sound continues to unfold, and the designs are becoming more vivid and sumptuously rich as they progress. Once again a delicate combination of notes are created through strings plucked, bowed, and hammered, complemented by an array of whizzing, buzzing, tweeting gadgets which add the final magical touch. The interplay of sound is giddily perfect and wonderful, existing in the emo and pop realms but roaming freely elsewhere as seen fit. Tim Kinsella’s brush of wordplay is still genius, and his vocal delivery seems to have learned a thing or two since the last album, as it comes across smoother, more confident. The whole record in general seems a strong step forward from A Portable Model Of, a record I figured would be a difficult one to improve upon in itself. It picks up pace here and there, but for the most part it’s pretty relaxed, still managing to captivate interest. Superb. Jade Tree, 2310 Kennwynn Rd., Wilmington, DE 19810; www.jadetree.com

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