By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
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.
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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.
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.
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