13 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Calgary singer-songwriter Chad Van Gaalen has recorded several impressive solo albums where the ambitious eclecticism made them sound incredibly weird and personal. Diaper Island is another encouraging exploration in sound. Garage rock is apparently on his mind. There’s a great raunch to “Peace On the Rise.” “Heavy Stones” sounds like broken guitars are accompanying Beach Boys-like vocal lines. “Sara” is a touching acoustic number that expands into a punk version of the Association. “Blonde Hash” captures the irreverent mayhem of the Fugs. “Freedom for a Policeman,” “Can You Believe It?” and “Wandering Spirits” are more untutored garage-rock where the vocals throw themselves into gleeful cacophony. There’s such joy here that the deliberate lack of polish makes the album sound even more off-the-cuff than it likely is. The addition of the Neil Young-reminiscent bonus track “You Changed Your Name” is a fitting end to an album with such an anarchic spirit.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Calgary singer-songwriter Chad Van Gaalen has recorded several impressive solo albums where the ambitious eclecticism made them sound incredibly weird and personal. Diaper Island is another encouraging exploration in sound. Garage rock is apparently on his mind. There’s a great raunch to “Peace On the Rise.” “Heavy Stones” sounds like broken guitars are accompanying Beach Boys-like vocal lines. “Sara” is a touching acoustic number that expands into a punk version of the Association. “Blonde Hash” captures the irreverent mayhem of the Fugs. “Freedom for a Policeman,” “Can You Believe It?” and “Wandering Spirits” are more untutored garage-rock where the vocals throw themselves into gleeful cacophony. There’s such joy here that the deliberate lack of polish makes the album sound even more off-the-cuff than it likely is. The addition of the Neil Young-reminiscent bonus track “You Changed Your Name” is a fitting end to an album with such an anarchic spirit.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

Haha Tuna! ,

Neato

Chad VanGaalen? More like Chad VanAwesome. m i rite?

oh•vell ,

Diaper Island lies in some precious musical waters...

This is going to end up in my Top Ten of 2011 -- it took me 3 songs to realize that.
For sporting what is surely one of the worst album names of the last decade, this music is emotive, serious and deep, while remaining catchy in the best Broken Social Scene-sort of way. This isn't pop music, but it might as well be because it's addicting as a cocaine-laced slot machine.

EugeniaL ,

One of the best of 2011

IMO, this is one of the best albums of 2011. Too bad that it's not only more popular, but also more popular than his older work. This is so catchy.

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