Opening with the eight-minute epic Up In Flames, this fourth disc from the newest incarnation from former Winnipegger Tyler Shipley’s Consumer Goods is a step in a different direction. Gone are the snarky observations on George W. Bush and Sam Katz, leaving only a few moments of levity (including a great line about Bill Murray in a dream from Civilizing Mission). Shipley has always mixed pop and politics and struggled with letting the songs be truly sincere, but he’s successful this time around. There’s also an all-star cast backing him up this time. Produced by Dale Morningstar at the Gas Station Recording Camp, these 13 songs were fleshed out by Bob Egan (Wilco, Blue Rodeo) and Dave Clark (Rheostatics) among others. The disc has a bit of twang and a lot of heart - and though not as immediately in-your-face as Happy Bidet, it’s one you’ll want to spend some time with.

Published in Volume 66, Number 22 of The Uniter (March 7, 2012)

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