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The Hidden Cameras ( http://www.thehiddencameras.com @hidden_cameras )

Origin: Orphan
Arts & Crafts ( http://www.arts-crafts.ca @artsandcrafts )
After a string of rather entertaining albums, lastly 2006’s Awoo, Mississauga’s The Hidden Cameras, have returned with a new record entitled Origin:Orphan.
Recorded in Germany, it marks a continuation of some of the changes the band started with their last effort.
It would appear that the days of the upbeat harmonies and frenetic rhythms may be a thing of the past, being replaced with a much more refined song structure. Songwriter and frontman Joel Gibb, seems to indulging himself in songs that don’t deliver the goods right away. Instead, relying on repetition of his typically catchy refrains to draw the listener in.
This time around, however, the refrains are more irritating on Origin:Orphan, then they were in the past. While songs like “In The NA” are catchy, like a fly buzzing around your head, you want to smack it and move on with life.
The band, who’s strength lies in a fantastic live show, have provided me a bunch of songs I never want to hear them play live. Trite as that sounds, when The Hidden Cameras are not fun, I don’t want to listen to them. Origin:Orphan just isn’t fun.
I am not suggesting that songwriters shouldn’t change. If Brian Wilson has regurgitated “Little Deuce Coop” for his career, we would never have “God Only Knows” or “Good Vibrations.” The difference here is that Gibb isn’t Brian Wilson, and the things that have changed about The Hidden Cameras were the things I loved about the band in the first place.
I have listened to this record straight through a few times, and while I do enjoy it a little more with each passing listen, I just don’t think I will put it on again if I want to hear The Hidden Camera’s.
If “Music Is My Boyfriend” as the band has sung in the past, I think we need a break for a while.

By Scott Thomson
Sep 30, 2009

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