Dallas music snobs, here is your record for 2006. Go ahead--set the CD for On Leaping From Airplanes in the stereo, put your Funland pajamas on, curl up in your Tripping Daisy bedsheets and dim the UFOFU nightlight, so that you might fall asleep and dream of a nostalgic era in Dallas music. That's not to say Oceanographer is either poppy or particularly psychedelic; in fact, that's not to say they're from Dallas, either. These former Dentonites wrote and recorded much of their second album in Brooklyn, but the sounds are steeped in the spirit of the Dallas metroplex, a blend of spacey textures and raw, country-tinged songwriting that you just won't find anywhere else in the country. And for that, bedroom dwellers in every 752XX zip code will want to equip headphones for this disc, a lovely meeting between the New Year's Newness Ends and Pleasant Grove's Auscultation of the Heart where guitars, synthesizers and spare strings melt together like a Phil Spector wet dream.
The thing is, the quintet recognizes the dreamlike sound and even reflects on the sadness between that dream, the one where they move to Brooklyn and achieve national fame, and the reality--on "Stations," singer Jeremy Yocum laments, "I crawl out of dreams with silver still on my eyelids/Picking up messages from our most distant stations/But as soon as you look at it, it vanishes." But dreams become reality on songs like "Ludia, You're Fading," a truly radio-perfect blend of quality and outright catchiness, complete with Yocum's repeated sweet cries of the song title like he's trying to keep Ludia alive with his voice. If any album could resuscitate, Leaping just might.
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