'Til We See the Shore
Early critical buzz labeled Seabird as the next Coldplay or Radiohead, but such comparisons sell the band short. The original sound of the piano-based rock quartet from Cincinnati combines the best parts of Muse, Keane and the David Crowder Band. Imagine how Weezer would sound if they added a keyboardist to their quirky mix, and you start to get the idea. The album's raw guitar fusion made it one of the most intriguing releases of 2008. Producers Jacquire King (Modest Mouse, Tom Waits, Switchfoot) and Allen Salmon (Mutemath, This Beautiful Republic) honed the catchy sound. The lyrical depth is also impressive. Frontman Aaron Morgan sings of love, loss, and other typically deep emotions with uncanny character. There are lightweight moments such as the opener "Black and Blue," but the back half of the album is where the guys' musicianship takes them from also-ran to frontrunner. "Stronger" is a triumph the size of Crowder's "A Collision" — melding what sounds like an electric banjo into an already hook-laden rock melody. The tandem of "Patience," "Sometimes" and "Falling for You" proves why this band turns heads. Bright and sassy in creation yet earnest in delivery, Seabird's debut is a delight for rock fans.