Little Sun


Mad Music, 2012

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of losing a pet can empathize with this one. A disc entirely about Dingo, the now deceased dog of Alphanaut frontman Mark Alan, Little Sun retells many moments of Dingo's life, sometimes even from the perspective of the dog. It's a concept album unlike anything I've heard, and though it might sound comical (and sometimes is), it's also very endearing and is sure to tug at the heartstrings of any animal lover. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The disc opens with “Hey Buddy,” a cinematic, atmospheric track that details Dingo's rescue from the pound. Though this is a more stark song musically, thing shift gears quickly into brighter, upbeat, and more playful instrumentation on the first half of the listen. Through this lengthy endeavor (one has to assume that Dingo had a long, eventful life), Alan adds touches of jazz moments on “Big Day” and violins on “Pretty Chemicals,” as no two tracks here quite run the same course. In fact, if you were to omit Alan's deep voice, you could listen to the jam band influence of “Alpha To Omega” versus the universal pop vibes of “Back To The Stars” and never think that it was the same outfit.

The second half of the disc moves from cute banter about fetching keys and enjoying one another's company into mulling over life and death. Undoubtedly this illustrates the end of Dingo's life, when he was battling canine lymphoma. The instrumentation gets really dark at this point and the wordplay is downright devastating. It becomes more and more apparent just how much Alan treasured Dingo's presence and vice versa.

This is an extremely well-done disc that shifts from vintage to modern. Alphanaut at their core might be a very experimental version of indie rock (there's even trumpets here amid electronica – a rare find), but the message is straightforward: life is fleeting, every moment matters, and you should take the time to make those moments with your loved ones matter the most. If my words aren't enough to convince you to give this a try, keep in mind a portion of the sales of Little Sun will go toward finding a cure for doggie cancer.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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