The High Llamas Here Come The Rattling Trees

A High Llamas album is becoming a rare event indeed. Despite this being
the band’s twelfth official release,Come

it’s only the fourth since 2003, a rate that’s more due to demand for Head
Llama Sean O’Hagan’s arranging and producing skills than any lack of
creative impetus.

But it’s also true they’ve suffered from diminishing returns, and their latest record does little to suggest that their easylistening Come

homage to everything from bossa nova to chamber-pop is capable of being anything more than a pleasant, background hum.

‘Here Come The Rattling Trees’ is lovingly produced, and O’Hagan remains a master at constructing sweet, simple harmonies and melodies.Come

But too much here comes off sounding like Mike Flowers Pops doing Brian
Wilson; the organs, the delicate string arrangements, Come

the lush, vaguely psychedelic air that permeates almost every track don’t
so much borrow from Come

‘Pet Sounds’- era Beach Boys as transplant whole ideas verbatim.Come

O’Hagan needs to figure out a way to channel his influences into something more original than this

becomes the pounding, processed manifesto it always threatened to be, and the stuttering production on ‘Close Watch’ could almost pass for

Meanwhile, Cale’s tremulous voice dominates two hauntological, droning – and equally stunning – takes on ‘If You Were Still Around’, recast as timely tributes to Lou Reed.

‘M:FANS’ doesn’t exactly make its parent album an easier listen, but it allows Cale to offer a fascinating new perspective on his
darkest work.

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