As gentle as a summer breeze, Arienne hearts Charlie’s “The Greatest Show” is full of love. The light, breezy disposition has a lush atmosphere to it. Genre-wise, elements of folk, bossa nova, soft rock, and R&B brought into a singular stunning sound. Every gesture they balance with care, from the tap of the drum to the delicate strings that adorn much of the journey. Vocals have an effortless casual cool to them, for they draw favorable comparisons to Astrid Gilberto, Sean O’Hagan, and their ilk. By keeping it all full of so much color the kaleidoscopic swirl further adds to the sense of peace.
Unique to its very core, they feature a fully realized sonic universe. The Beach Boys at their most leisurely, the Sea and Cake at their most sedate, there is a dreamy splendor to the way that they bring life to these small stories. Arrangements take a nod from Jon Brion’s soundtrack work for “Punchdrunk Love” for there is a similar surreal gorgeousness to the way it all comes together. Even further down the smooth jazz-rock fusions the High Llamas seem to influence it a bit, from the wide array of instruments that enter into the fray to the way it all seems to almost float above everything.
On the fragile opener “Voyeur” a sense of longing comes into focus. His voice has a yearning behind it, as the piece is a love song sung from multiple perspectives. Playful guitar work introduces “Loving Day” for there is an autumnal presence within the song’s evolution. A nice sense of togetherness emerges with “All of Me” for they have a delicacy to their work. Rhythms have a sleepy, dream-like state with “Bare” as they rush nothing, instead granting it a majesty. A lite step guides “Dysania” forward in a communal way.
Graceful, limber guitar lines intersect on “Solitude” for they adopt a big band sort of variation to a large degree, as there is a classic quality to it. Elegant flute work punctuates “Autumn” for the bird like quality of the work, alongside the brisk groove, further adds to its beguiling nature. Speeding on through in way that feels liberating is the rush of “No One Knows”. Piece of “Beauty (for Arienne)” draws from Nick Drake’s most comforting output. Bringing everything home is the reflective cadence of “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”.
“The Greatest Show” shows off the grandeur of Arienne hearts Charlie’s rather tasteful arrangements, ones that have a true timelessness.