With each new release Mikal Cronin has pulled the curtain back further, made the screen wider and sharpened the focus on his pop spectacular. Sometimes its hard to believe that the scrappy psychedelia of his first LP came from the same person. It had hints of what's played out on MCIII, but to say that this is his most ambitious album is more than an understatement. Between playing everything from obscure Greek string instruments to French horns and arranging a full string section, it all sounds overwhelming on paper; but the brilliance of Cronin is that he makes it all sound so effortlessly effervescent through the speakers. Packed with songs that stretch his power pop past into new heights of arrangement on the A-side, things get even more complex on the flip, where he plays out a suited-concept record condensed into a single side. The individual parts all serve as killer songs on their own but the coming of age tale they weave builds a bigger boat to sail this album into ambitious and heady waters. Both bits show a level of mature songwriting and a mastery of his craft, but again, none of the praise matters quite as much as constant humming of these songs over and over that results from just one listen.
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