54-40 have always opted to go their own way by making records that feel natural
in relationship to their time, their place and their mood. In 1986 the Vancouver
quartet created their self-titled first album for Warner/Reprise known to fans as
the Green Album. It featured the classic signature tracks "I Go Blind" and "Baby
Ran." From there they produced two more albums for Warner/Reprise Show Me and Fight
For Love containing mainstay radio staples "One Gun," "Miss You," "One Day In Your
Life" to name a few. In 1990 the band moved on to Columbia Records. Radio and fans
responded to their new label debut Dear Dear as it carved out the solid rock tunes
"She-La" and "Nice To Love You." The follow-up was the jagged autobiographical story
of Smilin' Buddha Cabaret. The album was a journey to the places that had influenced
the band from their start. The session tapes contained over 35 songs to choose from
and out of it emerged the gem "Ocean Pearl".
Trusted By Millions, the third album for Columbia, was solid pop/rock. Radio friendly
tunes "Love You All," "Lies To Me" and "Crossing A Canyon" garnered top spins at
rock/album oriented stations across the country. 1998 brought us Since When, a beautiful
album that sounded old and new at the same time, in a way that only a band with
a two decade long history can manage. The double disc Heavy Mellow followed in 1999.
It showcased both the driving rock side of the band's live set with their more reflective
arrangements. Casual Viewin', released in 2001, drew from 60's soul and hip hop
grooves and in the words of Neil Osborne, is a "feel good groove record'. Put all
these albums together and pick the catchiest singles and you get Radio Love Songs,
The Singles Collection. Released in April 2002 the album included two new tracks
and a plethora of favorites from the past.
After more than 20 years of consistently creating some of Canada's most recognizable
and memorable classic alternative rock, the latest chapter in the history of this
prolific band is the release of their tenth studio recording Goodbye Flatland. It's
a sonic reminder of why 54o40 is so deeply rooted in the fabric of our music scene
and what makes the band so damn good.
With any great rock group it always comes down to the sum of parts. While it's easy
to say 54o40 defines this statement - it's the relentless power and rhythm of drummer
Matt Johnson and bassist Brad Merritt, the crafty edge of Phil Comparelli's guitar
work and the signature phrasing, timbre and lyrical muse of lead singer Neil Osborne
that drives the point home. Collectively, all of these elements resonate within
the 11 tracks of Goodbye Flatland. A thoughtful and supercharged collection of material
that sizzles with the snap crackle and pop of post modern intensity, and something
else. It's a certain kind of feeling that only a 54-40 album can deliver - very
familiar to the group's legions of fans and a seductive introduction for new recruits.
A glowing, razor sharp final mix by studio whiz Warne Livesey (The The, Midnight
Oil, The Mathew Good Band) reveals the obviously inspired session co-produced by
Osborne and engineer Howard Redekopp. A sonic exploration worthy of some serious
headphone action without losing sight of the fact that at the core, 54o40 is a rock
band - that, well...rocks! The first two singles Animal In Pain and Take Me Out
provide proof on that count and the album, as a whole, once again, displays the
group's top shelf songwriting skills and ever maturing pop craftsmanship.
After almost two decades in the musical trenches, 54-40 show no sign of slowing
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