Release Date: Aug 19, 2014
Record label: Bella Union
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, AM Pop
After the release of their second 4AD album, 2007's brilliant The Modern Tribe, Celebration took a break from being at the whim of a record label. Instead, they issued their 2010 album, The Electric Tarot: Hello Paradise, via their own Friends Records. The band's newfound independence stretched to their music, which incorporated soul, psychedelia, and pop in even more freewheeling ways than anything they'd done before.
When singer Katrina Ford formed Mt Royal last year, many fans might have been forgiven for thinking it meant the end of Celebration. It will be a welcome surprise, then, to see that the Brooklyn-based psychedelic-indie-soul outfit return with Albumin, their first collection since 2010’s Electric Tarot: Hello Paradise. Ford’s moonlighting with Mt Royal appears to have done her day job some favours.
Married duo Katrina Ford and Sean Antanaitis formed Celebration in 2004 with drummer David Bergander. For the Baltimore band’s fourth album, keyboardist Tony Drummond and bassist Walker Teret have joined the family. The self-produced ‘Albumin’ shifts from post-punk (‘Razor’s Edge’), to dreampop (‘Walk On’), with seven-minute southern-fried jam ‘I Got Sol’ and piano bop-along ‘Only The Wicked’ jammed alongside.
Most musicians don’t get as many chances as Celebration’s Katrina Ford and Sean Antanaitis. The duo released goth-tinged albums under the names JAKS and Love Life, and failed to stick.They changed their moniker yet again, to Celebration, and adopted a looser, more psychedelic sound. Despite being produced by Dave Sitek and released on 4AD, Celebrations’ first two albums failed to find much of an audience.
Returning with their fourth studio album ‘Albumin’ Celebration are looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow Baltimoreans Future Islands and finally breakthrough as not just hometown heroes but as a force to be reckoned with on a more global scale. Unfortunately ‘Albumin’ appears to lack the punch and creativity needed to be anything more than second rate. Opener ‘Razor’s Edge’ sets the tone, building powerfully as vocalist Katrina Ford’s strained, muted vocals surge into audibility.