Infinity in All Directions (Diabolical Genius)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Nov. 23, 2007
ContraNovaInfinity in All Directions (Diabolical Genius)
The project of Elgin's Sean Craypo, Contranova reassembles the band Craypo began eight years ago on its debut, adding a collection of artists to contribute sparsely arranged strings and horns. It's appropriate, then, that Infinity in All Directions purportedly presents the tale of a time-machine experiment gone awry. Despite the conceit, the songs hold their own integrity as shattered explorations of unreclaimable personal histories. The fragile folk-pop orientation of opener "Backwards Clockwork" mirrors local bands like the Lovely Sparrows and Goodnight, Fish, while Craypo's vocals plod toward Mark Kozelek's understated folk, especially when coupled with the Sufjan Stevens-styled indie banjo on "Calculate the Mass." The diverse instrumentation, including bassoons, harps, and vibes, at times becomes absurdly gratuitous, as with the misplaced overture of "Revolution 10 (Sound Collage #1)," but only rarely detracts from the songs. Like Phil Elvrum, Craypo crafts amazingly poignant and revelatory moments within odd, elliptical narratives, and Infinity is worth the wait.