In the era of overwrought and over-arranged pop music, it's nice to have a little bit of uncomplicated Americanized Brit-pop. With And the Wicked Sea, Minnesota-natives Pictures of Then don't try to shoot for the moon with epic instrumentation and high-minded orchestration but strip their arrangments down to just make some nice rock 'n' roll.
And the Wicked Sea opens with the high-flying vocals of "A Glimpse of Dawn," which moves into the more sharply rollicking first single "When it Stings." The smart guitar lick and the odd synth blast make "Sting" a great pop track, with the instrumentation further accenting vocalist Casey Call's silky smooth singing.
While Sea's songs are all solid, tracks like the grooving "One Day" offer up something a little different from their normal straight-up Brit-influenced sound. "One Day" is the sexiest song on the album, a mellow slow-burn that builds to a rousing crescendo. Don't you dare play it near your sister, lest she choose to give herself over to Call and company for chaste make outs and hand holding.