By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
Put Morrissey on a yacht in the middle of the ocean on a beautiful day and he'd probably sill find some reason to be sad about it. But Mission To The Sea's debut album Tranquilo, which meets the above criteria almost perfectly, is a lighter, only slightly melancholic effort. That doesn't mean that Decker Sachse, the man behind the moniker, is off the Morrissey comparison hook, though; he even goes so far as to cover "Everyday Is Like Sunday" from the Brit-crooner's legendary album Bona Drag on this debut release.
But Sachse's sound isn't derivative: While he wears his influences on his sleeve, he does a good job putting his own spin on them. "Everyday Is Like Sunday" is transformed from a Brit-pop classic into an ocean-side, Latin number with the help of Sachse's ukelele and a sparse, echoing choir. The rest of Tranquilo follows suit with this style, but for the most part isn't very memorable. Well, except for a few standout tracks: "Benches of Jamaica Bay" features a knock-down chorus, as well as an unfortunate Spanish guitar that slickly weaves its way in and out of the entire record.
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Tranquilo thrives most when the production is minimal and the performances are a little sloppy. The moments of high production on this album—and there are many such moments—only take away from its character, which could stand to be out front a bit more.