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The Great Escape - Universe in Bloom (Self-Released)

18 November 2017

Universe in Bloom may be the second album for Venice Beach’s The Great Escape, but in many ways it is truly a fresh start. Whereas before they occasionally sounded uncomfortable in the image they were presenting to the public, the band have finally embraced their true selves, and the results are nothing short of infectious. Universe in Bloom is simply a technicolor explosion of pop culture at its most effervescent. Reference points are taken from every possible angle, and combine to produce a captivating concoction of sunshine pop and hard rock. There’s bits of Motown, raw garage rock, baroque pop, even Leonard Cohen is listed among their influences.

Some songs are pure pop, like the overwhelmingly optimistic “Good Day,” with effulgent lyrical content and bouncy pianos as one would naturally expect, and it only works because the band has recorded it without the slightest trace of irony. They have taken the Paul McCartney element of Sgt. Pepper’s, and have turned it up to 11. Even the harder numbers such as “I Can’t Resist” and “All or Nothing” are fantastically cartoonish in the best T. Rex definition of the word. It’s highly probable Universe in Bloom will win over a lot of new fans for The Great Escape, because the band’s spirit and this album’s charm is ultimately irresistible.


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