CTP rocks

ReAnne Utemark

As of late, I have become a music cynic, what with the cacophony of crap coming from what is considered pop music. Even T-Pain is considered pop music. I don’t care if he is on a boat, auto-tune doesn’t count as musical ability.

T-Pain aside, when asked to review Cherry Tree Parade, I visited their MySpace page and had a listen. Under influences, they list “Vanessa Carlton” and under sounds like, they say “f-in indie pop.” They have a personality and their music doesn’t disappoint.

Superficially, the group just has a really great sound. I think I could listen to Pity Party for Penny ad nauseum simply because I like the way it sounds. That said, there are occasionally places in some of the other songs where it gets to be just a little much for me. It’s not bad, it just seems to overwhelm the song, like in Perfectly Polyphonic.

While never being very good at picking out influences, Cherry Tree Parade sounds a little like Death Cab for Cutie with completely different vocals and, while I couldn’t win an argument with this connection, a lot of their songs remind me of the Beck from Sea Change, or what I like to call “sad bastard Beck.”

Cherry Tree Parade produces some interesting lyrics. I enjoy cheeky music and interesting turns of phrase, and Cherry Tree delivers that sometimes. Then there are other songs that seem pretty straight forward, like “Get Down and Other Metaphors,” yet for the last half hour, I have been trying to figure out the pattern of Christ, Jesus and God mentions throughout their songs. Like, in June Bugs in July, it is an interesting song, but I have no idea what they mean by “you were my modern day Jesus.” Along with the divine theme, they seem to be stuck on songs about death. While death is, indeed, part of our everyday lives, sometimes it is hard to hear about over and over again. Considering my own mortality is not often on my iPod playlist.

Cherry Tree sometimes falls prey to the classic indie trap of “this sounds cool and deep, so I am going to say it, even if it doesn’t make sense.” However, more often, they really come through with some solid writing and music. I am really excited for their new album and I would highly recommend them to anyone who has a penchant for indie music and confusing metaphors.