‘Sunday Universe,’ is Out of this Universe

Compact Disk
Image by pen3ya via Flickr

The latest creation of Ellen Kempner ’12, entitled “Sunday Universe,” is a blend of mellow lo-fi riffs and New York accented vocals along with some faster tunes with joking lyrics including a Kanye West quote ripping on Taylor Swift that I’m sure everyone has heard.

This album takes a drop off of her past one in style because, not only has she made the addition of drums and bass to some of the songs, she has also made the change in most of her songs to electric guitar as opposed to acoustic which she has used exclusively in her past two albums.

The new style makes her songs not only different than her former albums, but far more interesting.

The album begins with a track called “Surgery,” a song with a consistent guitar lick that’s underlaid with a synthesized kind of “wah-wah” noise that is pleasantly mixed with the ever so forgettable bass and drums undermined by her extremely talented voice. All of these factors welded together bring you a quality start to an even higher quality album.

“1940’s Gangster,” continues the trend of the repetitive guitar, but is different because this is the most original and sincere song on the album. It accounts for the miserable, miserable life of a defunct gangster. The lyrics themselves are brilliant and are seamlessly laid over her instrumentals.

Then comes a break from the dulcet sounds, Kempner ushers in a Regina Spektor-esque song called “Dangerous,” which is without a doubt the best sounding song on the album. With a faster riff and epidemically catchy vocals, Kempner proves that she can construct a quality album beginning with this song.

Then Kempner brings in two songs similar in some ways and vastly different in others. “Rapunzel,” and “What a View,” are both extremely mellifluous and soft. “Rapunzel,” begins with some slow picking, which is easily awaited, but in almost a split second you are hit with a pulsating synth beat that leaves a mark in your mind to remember the song. While Kempner was unable to record the album on vinyl, she brings the closest thing there is to the listener. “What a View,” provides a lo-fi tune with the incomparable distinction of a vinyl LP. It leaves you with the idea that she’s singing to you on the phone. While this seems unconventional, it only benefits the song’s merit because she can pull it off without a second thought.

The last song is almost like a bonus track that you’d find on a Death Cab album which would normally be one of the songs on the album done on ukulele. The uke tune that she plays resonates in your head and it is certainly unforgettable, probably the most unforgettable song on the album just because it has the Kanye West quote on it.

So, Kanye—Imma let you finish, but Ellen Kempner had one of the best Staples musicians’ albums of all time.