Hidden Cameras

Awoo | Arts & Crafts
By MATT ASHARE  |  November 7, 2006
3.0 3.0 Stars

Along with being the title of this Toronto pop outfit’s third album, “Awoo” is the celebratory cry warm-voiced Joel Gibb lets out after each revelatory verse on the title track, as in “From the moment I was taught to resist the education . . . Awoo . . . With a shrug and an ugh I unleash my holy power with the feeling of the end of my last examination . . . Awoo.” It’s typical of the out-of-the-closet yet never fey or overdramatic indie pop Gibb’s been known for since he started mining sources both classic (the Buddy Guy/Roy Orbison gallop of “Death of a Tune”) and more contemporary (the murmuring jangle of “Lollipop” and the wry Feelies rush of “Learning the Lie”) in 2003. Much like Stephin Merritt’s Magnetic Fields, the Hidden Cameras have evolved from something of a bedroom-demo recording project into a fully orchestrated studio band complete with cello, viola, glockenspiel, upright bass, and the like. Gibb deploys each instrumental embellishment with care and precision, never overwhelming the spare inner melodic core of his songs or the poetic bent of his lyrics. And on Awoo he’s brought together his best batch of melodies yet, along with lyrics that aim less to shock than to amuse.

The Hidden Cameras + Twilight Sad + Spiral Beach | Middle East upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge | November 14 | 617.864.EAST

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