J.J. Ipsen and the Paper Crown, Entertainment Ordinaire

The word “Quirky” often carries negative connotations, but one spin of Entertainment Ordinaire ought to prove otherwise. The debut full length from J.J. Ipsen and the Paper Crown is indeed a diverse listen, full of jangly rhythms and pop-leaning harmonies. But couple that with some fairly left-leaning soft rock hooks and incredibly literate lyrics and you’ve got something that isn’t a cut and dry record. And for some reason, that can scare a lot of people.

Instead, Entertainment Ordinaire should be embraced for the sonic journey it takes listeners on. “Oxford Grey” bounces with a timely groove and “Basement Pleasure Domes” sound like freak-folk with an articulate bend. There’s truly varying levels of “Entertainment” to be found on Entertainment Ordinaire, allowing the record to take on a circus like feel. At times, such as on the generous “Spangled Stars,” Ipsen’s calming weirdness serves listeners well. However “Helium Balloons” sounds as if it’s strange just for the sake of being strange.   This is something of a rarity on the record and for the most part, Ipsen succeeds with his own peculiar brand of gracious but goofy rock.

By Joshua Kloke – joshuakloke@hotmail.com

[Rating: 3.5/5]

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