2007-07-17 MLWZ (TFI Review)

Originally posted by Artur Chachlowski at MLWZ, Poland. Translation by Kasia.

I have in my hand the ideal record for the summer when the sky is blue, the air is heated by the holiday sun and all around you there is total craziness related to planning your vacations far away. “Two False Idols” contains very relaxed music that also has real charm to it. Let me quickly explain: This album doesn’t contain any trashy electro tracks that do so well on vacation club nights, or on the beach. On the contrary, “Two False Idols” is a collection of ten well-written, melodic songs, composed and performed by a certain Ben Craven. This multi-talented Australian who sings and plays most instruments on nearly all the tracks himself, decided to call himself “Tunisia”. According to him, this name carries with itself a certain mystery, something unknown, perhaps something so remote for the average Australian that it’s hard to place. That’s exactly the case with the music we hear on the album “Two False Idols”. It’s full of mainly acoustic and very lyrical songs, but you’ll also find harder, rockier riffs, a little bit of blues, and sometimes even some symphonic breadth. Still, a specific atmosphere of intimacy and calm dominates the biggest part of the record. Anglo-Saxons often call this type of music ‘cinematic rock’. Behind this term hides intimate and romantic music. The atmosphere on “Two False Idols” can also be called “laid back”, the kind of relaxed music that’s easy on the ear. But there are also exceptions. Like “Enough About You” and “If You Knew”. Those are rocky numbers in the style of the solo records by Ringo Starr. Perhaps that association springs to mind because of the voice of a certain Brad Douglas, who vocally supports Ben Craven on these tracks. The voice of our main hero, however, reminds me more of another Beatle, namely John Lennon. You have to admit, the characteristic Beatles atmosphere is present throughout the whole album. But you can also find echoes of ZZ Top. You can hear that clearly in “Not Me It’s You”. Another stylistic comparison that comes to mind is last year’s album “On An Island” by David Gilmour with his whole unrushed atmosphere. Such calm and reflective moods can be found on “Two False Idols”. You can best hear that on the album’s two last tracks: the acoustic “Look Away” and the absolutely beautiful instrumental “Celeste”.

It’s worth stressing the unbelievable care put into publishing this album. It comes with a beautiful booklet and an extra second disc with the same tracks, but recorded in Dolby 5.1 Surround DTS. A feast for the ears!

Ben Craven doesn’t try to pull of guitar riffs played with the speed of light. Instead, he presents us with relatively simple, but unusually charming songs with shapely melodic lines and uncomplicated, but effective, arrangements. “Two False Idols” is a very pleasant record, and Tunisia a very interesting suggestion for the summer/vacations.