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article by: Michael Canter

23 May 2012

CD Review - Thin One The Red One by Dead Sea Choir

"Dead Sea Choir as a concept is nothing short of a sonic miracle, and it's taking place here in Tulsa."
~ Josh Kline, Urban Tulsa Weekly

Release Date: 11-January-2009
Genre: Visual / Avant-Garde Rock / Alternative
Publisher: [c] 2008 Brass Ltd.
Label: Brass Ltd.
Time: 1h 03m 39s
Review Date: 23-May-2012
Format: CD
Jivewired Digital Press Kit:  http://jivewired.com/deadseachoir

Get it at:
CD Baby | iTunes | Amazon

Track Listing:
01. Charismatic 5:42
02. Oriental Drippo 5:47
03. Move It Child 5:11
04. Image D93 7:08
05. Option 3:09
06. 230 11:07
07. The Abyss 5:20
08. On The Up and Up 6:30
09. The Ceiling 4:02
10. Antagonist 2:42
11. Old Man Winter 7:01


Lush and brilliantly done, Thin One The Red One by Dead Sea Choir is a grandiose effort that is rich and full, if not at times overachieving, but nonetheless a full blend that is a timeless and lovely debut.  Taking nearly three years from conceptual blueprint to release, the ambitious and powerful effort is the result of a project created by Costa Stasinopolous and Daniel Gimlin.  The collaborative result is a strong album that is as much a stark, layered and visual effort as it is a sonic wonderment.

Thin One The Red One has an enigmatic indie pulse.  It's songs tend to change tempo suddenly and often dramatically.  Though it makes it at times difficult to follow, it also works conceptually in it's favor.  The twists and turns are incredible at times, even thrilling. That type of ebb and flow is generally not found in a debut release, let alone a debut release of this nature.   The dramatic interplay tells an epic story, and if the LP is not by definition a true concept album, it certainly straddles that delineation existentially.  Lyrical themes approach life and after-life as a series of never-ending conflicts; creation versus destruction;  beauty versus deformity;  life versus death;  harmony versus cacophony;  God versus Lucifer; man versus all of the above.

As a vocalist, Stasinopolous often works in his upper register in smooth transition that can either work in harmony or purposeful conflict with the arrangements. The result is often awe-inspiring and you will immediately recognize the Thom Yorke comparisons.  Songs like On The Up and Up, The Ceiling and 230 are great examples.   Each represents an ever-present game of musical one-upmanship between the vocals and the instrumentation/arrangements that is chillingly sublime.  The Ceiling is a soaring and simply majestic crescendo-building masterpiece that segues perfectly into Antagonist, another sonically resplendent effort that oozes string laden beauty over tumbling percussion and piecemeal electronic melodies.

The production on this album is awash in layered stunningness. It may, in fact, take repeat listens to fully appreciate all that is going on.  Thin One The Red One displays an ever-changing sound that remains rooted singularly in it's smooth track-to-track transitions.  The variances and tempo changes occur mid-song in most cases, so the flow of the album is relatively seamless and often at times so unremarkable you'll not realize that a new track has started.  There is nothing that is really radio-friendly here, though Move It, Child and On The Up and Up are strong enough vocally with a very Muse-like vibe to at least garner a shot in any AOR format.  Whether it's commercially appealing or not, almost every song on this LP is melodically addictive despite its absence of hooks, deliberate pace or repetitive verse-chorus-verse structure.

It's not often that I review an album three years post-release, but Dead Sea Choir is a recent discovery.  The fact that I am reviewing it now only attests to it's beauty.  Previous reviews mimic similar adjectives:  grandiose, epic, lofty, ambitious, abstract.  There are the obligatory comparisons to Radiohead and Sigur Ros, but truth be told, the comparisons are legitimate.  At times this album is superb.  It meanders a bit and gets long winded at times, but Stasinopolous, who produced it, manages to tie it all together nicely.

That being said, you have to listen to Thin One The Red One with an open mind and receptive soul.  It's forward thinking and artsy music, and though it's foundation rests on striking and heavy pop sensibilities, the music here is deeply layered and immensely complex, so you have to really get into it's depth to fully appreciate what the band has done.  To listen simply on the surface doesn't do any justice to the album or to the listener.  Plan on immersing yourself fully, and if you are willing to do just that, the result will be something epically and sonically stunning.

About Dead Sea Choir:

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