The Belle Jar- Union Station
Mar 5, 2014
RIYL: Gnarls Barkley, Amy Winehouse, Esperanza Spalding
Track 3- Hi, My Name is Ana
Track 4- Free Change
Track 5- Good Things
Track 9-Arbys and Sbarros
The mind behind Twinkie Jiggles Broken Orchestra, Sean McPherson, may be best known around the Minneapolis area for his work in the hip-hop group Heiruspecs, but his new project proves that he has a knack for writing really special music outside of hip-hop.
McPherson wrote all of the material for Too Big To Fail and enlisted some really great musicians and female voices like Ashley Gold, Chastity Brown, Claire De Lune and Aby Wolf to fill out the album. The result is something special. Too Big To Fail is one of those rare records that’s both fun and ridden with emotional depth.
McPherson’s arrangements are sparse and not overdone, but still sonically engaging. He employs really tasty piano and organ instrumentation accompanied by some fabulous guitar playing to soar over top of his trademark bass lines. Too Big To Fail sounds like it leaked out of the Motown record collection, mixed with modern influences and released itself.
Songs like “Good Things” are infectious soul-ridden, pop goodness. “Arbys and Sbarros” is another impossibly fun and catchy, yet emotional pop ballad with a hypnotizing groove and pulsing electronic piano sounds. “Hi, My Name Ana” is catchy enough for mainstream pop radio but engaging enough to find its niche in the more intellectual genres.
And that’s what makes this project so great. The songs are all pop at heart, but dressed up in a sentiment that’s more fitting in the soul genre. But don’t think that McPherson is riding the coattails of Bruno Mars or anything. He has more than enough songwriting chops by himself.