The percolating shuffle of lead-off track “Mornings Eleven” immediately identifies this well-traveled quartet of siblings (Romeo and Michele Stodart, Sean and Angela Gannon) as European performers of the Thrills school, students of West Coast pop who aren’t afraid to drop some Buffalo Springfield science amid their almost slavish Mamas and Papas recreations. Meet The Magic Numbers, a U.K. sensation now making landfall in the States. Their eponymous debut is strewn with songs suffuse with light and space; from country to soul to folk to guitar pop, no genre goes unplundered as this quartet breathlessly crams these 13 songs with an almost effervescent sense of abandon. Perhaps it’s the global make-up of The Magic Numbers that occasionally makes the album feel like a gleeful sprint down the jetway at Heathrow—the Stodart kids arrived in the U.K. via New York and Trinidad, while the Gannons came of age in the West London district of Hanwell. The pan-continental background certainly lends some cachet, but on cuts like “The Mule” and “Long Legs,” The Magic Numbers sound less like the love children of Teenage Fanclub and more like a not-so-dour Kings of Leon. While breezily holding your attention for most of the disc’s considerable run time, The Magic Numbers do tend to indulge in noodling when getting on with the next song would be preferable; high, lovely harmonies notwithstanding, a good 15 minutes chopped could’ve meant the difference between merely being noticed and creating a minor masterpiece of nostalgia-infused pop.
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