Talking Trees is essentially the solo project of one Sean Robert Chambers, who sings and plays all the instruments with occasional vocal assistance from Stephen O?Sullivan and the odd Hammond organ and piano flourish from Steve Tucker. Chambers? reedy vocals (reminiscent of In Gowan Ring?s B?eirth) float atop the jingle-jangle Byrdsian guitar folk rock of ?Praying To St. Jude,? with O?Sullivan?s harmonies completing the mental picture of a Byrds reunion happening right before our ears. Chambers? fuzz solos and lively organ fills inject an aggressive adrenalin rush into ?William,? and you can amuse and amaze your friends playing ?Name That Tune? with ?Willow.? Although unsuccessful, I think I?ve correctly narrowed it down to a Beatles? song.
Gorgeous harmonies are again the order of the day on ?Song For A Someone,? with Chambers? Rickenbacker 12-string once again ringing out to the heavens. Chambers whips out his harpsichord(!) for the brief, medieval-flavoured musical aperitiv ?Samarkhan,? which paves the way for the marching pop of ?Mammon Mandarin.? Chambers again sprinkles the harpsichord throughout their eponymous theme song, a folky rumination of jangly guitars and O?Sullivan?s harmonies that leaves a pleasant Simon & Garfunkle-meets-The Byrds aura ringing in my ears. There?s also an air of Tears for Fears (ca. ?Mad World? and ?The Hurting?) hovering over ?Wake Up World.?
So if you?re in the mood to follow some jingle-jangle melodies home, and Simon & Garfunkle/Crosby, Stills & Nash-ish harmonies are your cup of tea, then you?ll keep returning to this wonderful album that will also appeal to fans of (the UK) Kaleidoscope, to whom they?ve been favourably (and rightly) compared, as well as fans of purveyors of post-Byrdsian pop and folk rock, such as R.E.M. (Chambers sites ?Murmur? as a particular influence) and our own Green Pajamas. 9/10 -- Jeff Penczak (24 July, 2006)