11 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Quite possibly the photo negative of the New York Trio's difficult second album, Twentytwo in Blue features Sunflower Bean opening up and luxuriating in their prodigious talent. Key to its success is the positioning of Julia Cumming. She’s front and center here, taking the vast majority of lead vocals and dusting the band’s imaginative dream-rock with an unmissable star quality. She’s light and mesmeric on the album’s poppier moments (“I Was a Fool,” “Twentytwo”) and an impassioned presence when the trio dart confidently towards punky, political edges (“Crisis Fest,” “Puppet Strings”).

EDITORS’ NOTES

Quite possibly the photo negative of the New York Trio's difficult second album, Twentytwo in Blue features Sunflower Bean opening up and luxuriating in their prodigious talent. Key to its success is the positioning of Julia Cumming. She’s front and center here, taking the vast majority of lead vocals and dusting the band’s imaginative dream-rock with an unmissable star quality. She’s light and mesmeric on the album’s poppier moments (“I Was a Fool,” “Twentytwo”) and an impassioned presence when the trio dart confidently towards punky, political edges (“Crisis Fest,” “Puppet Strings”).

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

Spelling ibu ,

22 in Blue

Show you can still feature decent music without all the explicit lyrics!

wisconsin jimbo ,

Not quite up to Human Ceremony

While this effort has an obvious higher production budget, the songs don't substantially improve. While several songs are decent, feels like they are running in place here. Maybe the next one will leap forward. The guitar work is excellent, the rhythm section great, and she has a beautiful voice, only one song really grabs me- that is the spectacularly perfect pop gem "I was a Fool". that song is a must for fans of good music!

Jangofire ,

I liked their first album better

There’s something about the production of this album that’s very stifling. The guitars are buried and they have no bite. Her vocals are are upfront but they lack true passion. It’s a little plastic sounding. The bass sounds muddy. All the critics love this album, but they all say the same thing, which is that the band has grown up because they have one political song on this album. The problem is that song, Crisis Fest, is not a great song. It feels calculated, like the band said “hey we should write a protest song. The critics will love it!” But there isn’t any passion in the vocals. It’s like she was afraid of mussing her hair when she sang it.
Now for the positive. Only A Moment is a brilliant record. It has a beautiful, haunting melody, and the song is sung with real heartbreak. The production is brilliant too. I love the guitar parts. There is some beach boys and Phil Spector stuff going on here, but it is uniquely a Sunflower Bean song.

Overall it’s a frustrating album to listen too. Like another review said here, which is spot on, it sounds like 70s easy listening radio. I love music from the 70s but this sounds like it was produced by Barry Manilow’s producer or England Dan and John Ford Coley’s. You may have to google them. Lol.

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