The Relationship is Weezer's Brian Bell's other band. Their 2010 debut album was a fine listen. Seven Years on, Clara Obscura is a real step on. Weezer are in the middle of Power Pop and Indie Rock, The Relationship veer more towards 60's and 70's Melodic Pop Rock with a hint of Psych. Refreshingly so!
There will be a search for Weezer comparisons and there aren't many, the superb Hate That I Love You is the nearest. This album has a much higher quota of pop, a lot of it retro and it works beautifully. Without Me is a real anthemic Sing Along, Working On Myself is a broody stomp along that gets faster and faster as it progresses.
Smile is all Byrds jangle, Hawthorne is Petty at Muscle Shoals. This Year's Children has an ace Orchestral arrangement, all Ringo Drums, a big album closer. Suzy Don't sounds all Paisley Pop, Missing is early 90's Scots Pop and Break Me Open is the obvious single.
There are a lot of ideas here, all lead towards clever 60's Pop, perhaps a few too many ideas that may confuse the listener. The Relationship now sound more like a proper band, not a rolling collective and it shows. Clara Obscura is a great listen, a real joy.
You can buy the album everywhere.