School of Language, Now Enrolling K-12
The fortunate thing is that Sea from Shore could have been a side-step (or even a step back) from '07s Tones of the Town, and instead is a leap forwards. This attempt is weirder, in best ways, spinning off-kilter like a juggled saucer while somehow maintaining the stranglehold on impeccable pop taste at which Brewis has always excelled. Where linesthroughlines' fave Aloha has fallen off, SoL has happily donned the indestructible cape of melodic (and, in this case, meticulously arranged) odd-rock. It's bookended with four masterful "Rockist" tracks, the final reprise of which attains the heights only hinted at in the first. It feels like summiting K2 at daybreak, the world unfolded like a magazine under a glowing, gauzy haze of clouds. Like the most beautiful morning of your life.
Sometimes a sad thing turns into a happy thing. Sometimes something strange hits your ears and you just want to forget everything you knew previous to that moment. And if I could re-do my Best Albums of 2008 list, this would be top 5 with ease.
[from Sea From Shore|buy]