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The Sunshine Fix

Age of the Sun (Emperor Norton)

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It's far from damning to note that an album borrows from the Beatles and the Beach Boys' crazed genius Brian Wilson, but that's the worst that can be said about the Sunshine Fix's Age of the Sun. Reining in the studio wankery (save a 20-minute vocal-looped final track) and sing-songy preciousness that mar many modern trippy-minded records, former Olivia Tremor Control member Bill Doss adds just the right amount of distortion and sonic tangents to give his transcendent melody-driven pop a psychedelic twist. Doss focuses directly on the sun, which occasionally produces blindingly dippy lines. But though his lyrical concept fails to achieve cohesion, a string of whacked-out instrumental segues maintains the album's continuity. The Sunshine Fix might not ascend to the peaks reached by this genre's innovators, but Age of the Sun still soars high enough to get its wings melted.

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