|Personnel: Ryan Groff (vocals, guitar); Anthony Gravino (lap steel guitar, percussion, background vocals); Mark Woolwine (keyboards, background vocals); Chris Eitel (bass guitar, background vocals); David Pride (drums, background vocals); Michael Caskey (tambourine).
|Elsinore's third album is an ambitious step forward for the Illinois-based band; the folkie influences and gentle alt-country accents that dominated their first two full-length sets have been left by the side of the road, and instead, Yes Yes Yes is an intelligent, carefully crafted exercise in indie pop, with artfully executed arrangements that make room for electric guitars, banks of keyboards, and even strings and horns. At the same time, while Elsinore's earlier work often sounded cheerful but tentative, Yes Yes Yes radiates confidence in its broader, bolder musical approach, and if the melodic style of key songwriter Ryan Groff bears a very real resemblance to his earlier work, these new songs sound remarkably well-suited to the eclectic outlook of Yes Yes Yes, and the harmonies that played a significant part in Elsinore's music from the beginning are pressed into even greater service on these sessions. Groff and his bandmates (Chris Eitel on bass, David Pride on drums, and Mark Woolwine on keyboards) certainly get a valuable assist from producers Adam Schmitt and Anthony Gravino, whose crisp but unobtrusive audio brings together the many layers of music without sounding muddy or overly busy, along with the small army of guest musicians credited on this set, but it's the strength of the songs and the clarity of vision Elsinore bring to this music that make the album so impressive; ambition alone doesn't make for a great record unless you have the skills to do something with your ideas, and Yes Yes Yes is firm evidence this group has both form and content well in hand. ~ Mark Deming