Glitter Rock. Opulent '80s Pop. Glammy Prog. Bearded, backwoods Elk Rock. Who gives a rat's ass if there's no melody at the heart of it; no soul.
As the album's title suggests, 2020 deals with perceptions. Being released on the precipice of a new decade, the album is as much about looking back on 10 years gone awry as it is about looking forward to the promises of the future. Sometimes life comes at us in crystal clear geometry and hard numbers, and sometimes details reveal themselves only in the soft-focus of memory.
Moving in and out of focus through these 10 songs, the band has achieved its own vision on its own terms. Recording the album at its modernistic Eichler headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, the band took its time to decorate each track (or in some cases, de-decorate) for maximum emotional impact.
Featuring Clapp on vocals, piano guitar and drums, Oed Ronne (The Ocean Blue) on lead guitars, electric sitar and vibes, Jill Pries on bass guitars, Bob Vickers (The Incredible Vickers Bros.) on drums and guitars, John Moremen (Jad Fair, the Roy Loney Band) on guitars, all the itinerant members of the band are represented. Even original Orange Peels lead guitarist Larry Winther took off his reunion-era Mummies bandages for a few minutes to grace the album's lead track with a chickeny guitar solo.
For Clapp, the subtitle of the album may as well be "What I did on My Recession." Out of work for 10 months in the worst economy of his lifetime, Clapp poured his anxiety, neuroses and plethora of available time into pushing the album to completion. Hibernating in the studio with the heartbreak and uncertainty of the times, the band uses words and melodies to make sense of it all. 2020 is their answer.
"Design, music and fashion are cross-pollinating as never before. Allen Clapp, the lead singer and songwriter for The Orange Peels is doing his bit, recording his band's latest album in a modernistic Eichler home."
- New York Times
"The Orange Peels put a fresh and beguiling spin on the holy pop trinity of the Byrds, the Beach Boys and Burt Bacharach."
- LA Weekly
"The sweet secret of The Orange Peels is that this guitar-bass-drums and occasional-keyboard combo has somehow created sublime Orch-Pop with out any actual orchestra."
- Time Out New York
"Wonderfully sugar-coated with a melancholy heart, the record glides past on waves of gently strummed guitars, swooning Mellotron strings, and heavenly vocal harmonies."
- All Music