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A former keyboard player in the vaguely Catherine Wheel-ish contemporary Christian group Starflyer 59, Richard Swift struck out on his own at the turn of the decade. His first two records, Walking Without Effort and The Novelist, came out on as a double album in 2005 on Secretly Canadian, and he's been putting out music in dribs and drabs ever since then. All of it has been perfectly competent but a little dull, suggesting an MOR-indie mind-meld of Ron Sexsmith, Michael Penn, and Andrew Bird. On last year's head-turning Ground Trouble Jaw EP, however, Swift switched things up, ditching the midtempo piano ballads for strutting, ersatz blue-eyed soul and warbling in a killer, outrageously goofy Frank Zappa-meets-Bobby Darrin falsetto over loving recreations of Spencer Davis Group oldies. The EP was slight but unexpectedly winning, and it signaled a shift in direction that sets the stage nicely for the grander affair that is The Atlantic Ocean, his first proper full-length since 2007's Dressed Up For the Letdown. Wisely keeping the looseness he found on Ground Trouble Jaw, Swift spruces everything else up with the sort of painstaking classicist touches that overly ambitious singer/songwriters have spent hours in the studio refining since at least Todd Rundgren's Something/Anything?.
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*SEALED* Jacket still sealed in shrink original wrap; disc sold ungraded or "as is."
NM (Near Mint) Appears unplayed and will bear no marks, sleeve scuffs, or scratches.
EX+ (Excellent) May have one or two visible imperfections (i.e. sleeve scuffs, faint scratches, or other superficial marks) that will not affect playback.
VG+ (Very Good+) A few visible imperfections. These may include sleeve scuffs, light scratches, or other superficial marks.
VG (Very Good) Similar imperfections found on VG+ records but in slightly greater numbers. Records graded VG and above will typically not have any scratches that are deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
VG- (Very Good-) A number of visible imperfections; the presence of a considerable number of light scratches will force a VG- grade, as will the presence of significant isolated defects such as scratches deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
G (Good) Record can be played without skipping, but will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. G+ and G- are used to indicate stronger and weaker copies within this range.
*SW/DNAP* Slight warp, does not affect playback
*QUAD* Quadraphonic Sound, similar to today’s surround sound
All records are visually graded by our experienced staff, using a bright lamp and an Audio-Technica ATLP-120 turntable.