It’s obvious The Wurly Birds want to take you back, way back. The affection for The Beatles’ perfect pop-rock ballads couldn’t be more clear, and in “Turns,” the Oklahoma City five-piece does that golden standard proud.
Its self-titled debut did much of the same, but with more subtle production and a hazy, psychedelic tone, “Turns” does it all the better.
It acts like a connect-the dots between the best and brightest of that era of rock ’n’ roll, linking The Velvet Underground (“No Disguise”) to The Zombies (“We Can’t Always Agree”) and The Kinks (“It’s Love”) to Sam Cooke (“I Should Have Been Better”). One would assume some tacky monstrosity of peace signs, free love and tie-dye, but instead, “Turns” feels plucked from some humble rock club of the ’60s rather than pieced together using some “Woodstock for Dummies” guide.
Only with musicianship so honest and outstanding could an act pull off such a feat.
Singer/guitarists Taylor Johnson and Chris Anderson take turns delivering understated lines in a sonically lush tone over impeccably tight rhythm and hooks from the rest of the gang. All in all, it’s remarkably authentic, with ne’er even a moment feeling out-of-place. “Turns” is as much a time warp as it is an album — one hatched on vinyl, of course. —Joshua Boydston
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