Anathallo Canopy Glow

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Anathallo has more to do with musical theater than rock ’n’ roll. This equation works for some folks–Sufjan Stevens comes to mine, as does The Polyphonic Spree. And, in fact, Canopy Glow is crammed with the same syrupy horn and string arrangements–the same bubbly, yet bittersweet harmonies–that made Sufjan’s Illinoise so affecting. Yet, unlike some of their peers, Anathallo’s sophomore effort feels over-written and over-processed–sexless. Tracks like “John J. Audubon” and “Bells” are jam-packed with melody, yet bereft of hooks. There’s nothing to hold on to. Minor miracles appear here and there–Erica Froman’s ghostly harmonies opening “All the First Pages,” the tart cello darting through “The River”’s mid-section. But for music of such density, Canopy Glow doesn’t leave much of an impression.