Archive for album of the year

INDIE ALBUM OF THE YEAR-2015

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

Here it is, the 2015 I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album Of The Year. You can check out any or all of the albums by clicking on the album title. Thanks to all those involved in the voting, and a special thanks to all of the bands who submitted their music to us this year. To those of you reading this, please continue to support Independent Music. And finally, congratulations to the winners!

 

10. The Blank Tapes -‘Geodesic Dome Piece

bt1I could still listen to this for days on end. The songs make me feel like I did in 1969. The album is wonderfully arranged and produced. The vocals are wonderful, and the lyrics, sardonic and witty. There is an acoustic demo version of “Do You Wanna Get High” as a bonus, and “To Your Dome Piece” is worth a few listens just for the lyrical phrasing.. This is one of those must have albums. The kind that you have to have in your collection, just because it was done. Bizarro-garage-psychedelic-stoner-surf-pop at its best.

 

 

9.  Alyeus – ‘And From The Sky We Fall

alyeus2And From The Sky We Fall is a wonderful ride. Filled with cool effects, eclectic lyrics, acoustic guitar, and I am almost certain there is an electric drill in use here!! The guitar and synthesizer collaboration is exceptional, and I thoroughly enjoyed the underlying spoken word dubbed in. The album is wonderfully written. Wonderfully executed. Wonderfully produced. This is one cool concept album. Do yourself a favor, and check it out, Listen to it in its entirety in one sitting. It is well worth it.

 

8. The Quiet Things – ‘The Fall

the quiet things1I am still liking this album. The vocals are wonderful, and the songs are exceptional. Incredibly original music, with the ability to create mood. The songs are wonderfully original, unique, and way cool. From beginning to end, it will have you tapping your feet, and trying to sing along. It gets inside you, and you just can’t get it out! Not a bad thing though, since The Fall is insanely good!  Definitely a must have album.

 

 

7.  Fractal Reverb – Songs To Overcome The Ego Mind

FR1Songs To Overcome The Ego Mind is an incredible journey. Progressive Psychedelic Rock, a sort of fusion of Yes, King Crimson, and Rush. The sound is wonderfully full, and complex, incorporating different orchestral themes within each track. A progressive free for all that is perfectly executed, and often unexpected. The album drives forward, taking you places that you never imagined existed. A brilliant piece of work! This is the kind of album you put on and just let it play, allowing the music to envelop you, and hold you within it. An epic sound. An epic album. Certainly one of the most incredible collections of music I have heard in a long time.

 

6.  Ivory Hours –Morning Light

IH3The songs are insanely good, filled with pop melodies, great harmonies, and wonderful arrangements. The lyrics tell stories, and the choruses are insanely good. Pure pop. With a elements of rock, and blues. The vibe is dynamite. Entertaining & exciting..An incredibly wonderful listen! Amazingly pop, with bass and drums providing the perfect backdrop to exceptional melodies. The album is just plain wonderful, providing way cool pop melodies with exceptional arrangements. Go out and get 1. Or 2. It is that good.

 

5.  Andrew Waite & The Firm – ‘Burning Through The Night

AWand The FirmBurning Through The Night is wonderfully soothing & melodic. A return to the singer-songwriter days, with songs filled with heartfelt stories that resonate with me. The vocals are unique, and I dig the raspiness in Andrew Waite’s voice. The arrangements rock, and the horns & organ are a delightful. Andrew Waite & The Firm could very well be the next Blue Rodeo!! A band to watch. A band to listen to!! The album is a wonderfully satisfying journey that I plan on taking regularly. I suspect that I will have to make an endless loop as I can’t see myself getting tired of this.

 

4. The Cool Whips – Goodies

the cool whips1‘Goodies’ is a wonderfully fun time. 12 amazing songs with unforgettable melodies, sweet harmonies, and addictive hooks. Add to all that great changes, and farfisa, and you get a  perfectly pop album! Amazingly cool!  I like this band. I like the sound. I like the album. It is  good!  Definitely a must have album.

 

 

3.  Nadine Shah – ‘Fast Food

ns1Nadine Shah has a style all of her own. Unforgettable and unmistakable! Beautiful & sublime. The songs are wonderfully written, and have been driving some to move uncontrollably. I dig this album. It is wonderfully eclectic. It is alternative. Alternative cool. Alternative wonderful. Get it today!

 

 

2.  The Turnback – ‘Are We There Yet?

turnback1Are We There Yet is way cool Power Pop. I seem to be involved in a love affair with this album, It makes me happy, and asks for nothing in return. It has me singing around the house. The songs are exceptional, with great melodies, wonderful harmonies, dynamite bridges & choruses, and unforgettable hooks. The Turnback have delivered an incredibly great album, that I am referring to as Power Pop of the new millennium! The production is wonderful. There is a sweet balance here, with nothing over the top.  It is pure power pop perfection!!  Get a dozen or so copies. Give them to your family and friends. Or keep them all for yourself. I would. And if they ever hold a parade for this release, I will be there, front and centre, with a truckload of ticker tape.

 

 

1. The Easy Outs – ‘Desolate Row

easyoutsThe Easy Outs have struck gold. The sound is insanely full, but there are no gimmicks here, just straight ahead rock and roll. Not just rock, but Jersey Rock. The kind of rock that hits you in the face, with wonderful riffs, great changes, and a kick ass rhythm section. The kind of rock that you take on a road trip, top down as you barrel along some coastal highway! Sounding like The Beatles meet The Ramones, Desolate Row blends wonderful melodies, unforgettable hooks and way cool harmonies, with high octane garage rock. It is simply a wild party, and you’re invited. You just need to get a copy, crank it up, and hold on tight!

 

 

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THE COOL WHIPS-Goodies

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

I don’t know how I missed this until now. The Pacific Northwest has produced its fair share of incredible Indie Music, but I seem to have missed Portland, Oregon’s The Cool Whips. The release of their 12 track album ‘Goodies‘ in November 2014, may have come to me late, but this wonderful blend of 1960’s Brit pop and American power pop will not soon be forgotten.

the cool whips2The album kicks off with ‘Tickle Me With A Feather Duster‘, with a dynamite 60s beach/surf melody, great harmonies, and lyric like “come on babe don’t filibuster, don’t be such a little tease, tickle me with a feather duster, please”, and a few “yeah, yeah, yeah”s for good measure. ‘Move Over Aphrodite‘ delivers a great bridge, some way cool reverb, and  wonderful farfisa. With a great hook, and wonderfully pop hand clapping, ‘On The Seesaw‘ has a way cool Frankie & Annette, Beach Blanket thing going on. ‘She Did A Number On Me‘, offers a great melody, nice harmonies, a cool riff, and wonderful keys. ‘A Complicated Man‘ gives a terrific bridge, with some really sweet guitar, which is highlighted again in ‘Lost In The Summertime‘. The keys in ‘Where Can That Girl Be?‘ are the cool whips3reminiscent of Manfred Mann, as it highlights the way cool changes, and killer bridge. ‘A Vague Sense Of Dissatisfaction‘ delivers some wonderful harmonies, while ‘Turpentine‘ offers a great guitar solo, and more tongue in cheek lyric with “she tells me what to do. I think I like it too”.  The guitar rocks in ‘The Man I Never Was‘, and once again, the keys are incredible. ‘Pink Lemonade‘, offers wonderful harmonies, an exceptional melody, and a great hook. The riff is way cool, and I dig the Beatleseque vocals. The final track, ‘Boom-Shang-A-Lang‘, throws in some dynamite hand clapping to an unforgettable chorus, and hook. The keys are great, the guitar sweet. A perfect song to close out the album. Favorite tracks: ‘Tickle Me With A Feather Duster’, ‘Pink Lemonade’, and ‘Boom-Shang-A-Lang’.

 

 

the cool whips1‘Goodies’ is a wonderfully fun time. 12 amazing songs with unforgettable melodies, sweet harmonies, and addictive hooks. Add to all that great changes, and farfisa, and you get a  perfectly pop album! Amazingly cool!  I like this band. I like the sound. I like the album. Despite being released at the end of 2014, we just have to bend the rules and include it in the I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album Of The Year for 2015. It is just that good! Check it out for yourself: https://thecoolwhips.bandcamp.com/ and then buy 1 or 2. Definitely a must have album.

 

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ETERNAL SUMMERS-Gold & Stone

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

es1Growing up in Canada, I have spent many, many years wishing, and hoping for eternal summers. Roanoke, Virginia is fortunate to be home to Eternal Summers, who recently released their latest album, Gold & Stone. 10 tracks of uniquely original ethereal pop, that is both hypnotic and addictive.

Unassigned‘ sets the mood with its sweet melody, and cool effects. The changes and dynamite riff of ‘Together Or Alone‘, help deliver wonderful pop sensibilities. ‘Gold & Stone‘ offers a beautiful melody, and way cool vocals. The subtle acoustic guitar es3that flows through ‘The Roses‘, is a perfect counter balance to the great solo, and the dynamite vocals of this wonderfully melodic song. The vocals stand out again on ‘Black Diamond‘, while ‘Come Alive‘ with its effects,  great beat, and cool changes is a wonderfully sweet track. ‘Play Dead‘ , displays some great drumming, while ‘Stars You Named‘ is one of the best dream pop songs I have heard in a long time.   ‘Bloom‘ delivers cool effects, a laid back vibe, and a sweet guitar solo. My favorite track, ‘Ebb Tide‘ is insanely cool. Wonderfully melodic, it delivers great changes, wonderful harmonies, a great beat, and some sweet, sweet guitar.

 

 

es2I am liking Eternal Summers, and I am liking ‘Gold & Stone. Uniquely original, with solid instrumentation highlighted with interesting melodies, and wonderfully dreamy vocals. The sound is infectious, with a way cool 1980s Brit Pop/Wave vibe throughout. Sort of Modern English meets Kate Bush. The songs are well written, but the beauty is in the simplicity. The subtlety. Nothing hits you in the face here, but rather envelopes you like a warm blanket in the cold of winter. Definitely one to consider for the I Can’t Believe My Earz‘s 2015 Indie Album Of The Year. Check it out for yourself. You can listen and purchase all of Eternal Summers music at: http://eternalsummers.bandcamp.com/ and follow them at:  http://facebook.com/eternalsummers

 

 

 

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IVORY HOURS-Morning Light

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

IH1Its always exciting to find incredible music right in my own backyard.  Ivory Hours, 1 of the wildly talented bands out of London, Ontario are set to release their full length album, ‘Morning Light’, on June 9, 2015.

The songs are insanely good, filled with pop melodies, great harmonies, and wonderful arrangements. The lyrics tell stories, and the choruses are insanely good. Pure pop. With a elements of rock, and blues. The vibe is dynamite. Entertaining & exciting, this Luke Roes can write songs.

 

 

I particularly like “Dreamer“, with its cool vocal track, great changes, and a dynamite chorus. A wonderful opening song. “I Won’t“, delivers a solid pop melody, woven around a great hook. Listen to the keys in “The Priest“. My favorite track, “Like Them“, offers cool changes, and sweet harmonies with a kind of IH3Brit Pop feel. Oh, and check out the guitar. An incredibly wonderful listen! Amazingly pop, with bass and drums providing the perfect backdrop to exceptional melodies. Go out and get 1. Or 2. It is that good. You can stream a few tracks from ‘Morning Light’ at http://ivoryhours.bandcamp.com/, and you can get out and catch one of their record release shows, by checking dates on their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/IvoryHours?fref=ts .

The album is just plain wonderful, providing way cool pop melodies with exceptional arrangements. Definitely in contention for I Can’t Believe My Earz‘s 2015 Indie Album Of The Year.

 

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2014 INDIE ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

With a significant number of quality Indie releases this year, narrowing a list down to 10 albums, worthy of I Can’t Believe My Earz‘  2014 Indie Album Of The Year, was no easy task. There are some honorable mentions: Neverfriend-‘Evolve‘, The Everywheres-‘Habitualism‘, Harbour-‘Grade School Summer‘ & Social Strife-‘With Friends Like These…’.  We listened to them all, and here is our pick for the top 10 Indie Albums of 2014.

 

#10     DRUCKFARBEN————–‘Second Sound’

druck I am not certain why Druckfarben has been a mystery. These Toronto based musicians are insanely talented. It is an impressive work.   ‘Second Sound offers wonderful musical themes in an array of movements that are woven together in layers to create an incredible musical journey. This is way cool arena rock, out of the 1970s, with a 21st century bite. If you like Progressive-Rock, Druckfarben is the real deal.

 

 

#9     THE RED RAILS———-A Living Fiction

theredrailsno2The Red Rails offer ‘A Living Fiction‘, a classic rock sound immersed in blues.  The Ottawa band has a sound that reminds me of Cream meets The Black Crowes. With a 21st century edge. I like it! This is not background music. This is an album you play in its entirety. In your car. While taking a 40 minute drive down a highway. Make sure it is a highway. You cannot drive slow while listening.

 

 

 

#8     THE SATISFACTORS——–‘The Satisfactors’

the satisThe Satisfactors self titled debut album. It rocks from beginning to end with a wonderful garage groove. The songs are amazing. They are wonderfully crafted, and played with a beat that just doesn’t stop. Bruce’s vocals are great. Cool to hear from  Jersey’s Fantastic 4! The bass lines, and  guitar riffs are insanely good, and I like the less is more approach to the drumming.  This is rock ‘n’ roll the way it is meant to be played! This is Rock Til You Drop! This is The Satisfactors!

 

 

#7     SOUTH OF BLOOR——‘The Street’

south of bloorThis Toronto band has re-generated my lust for pop with the release of ‘The Street‘. The songs are exquisite 2-3 minute masterpieces. Their ability to write wonderful bridges and changes has me almost awe struck. The vocals are spectacular. The melodies, wonderful. This album delivers 5 terrific pop songs with alternative rock influences. And it works. A wonderful album. A fun time.

 

 

 

#6     TOXIC MELONS———‘Bus Therapy’

tm ‘Bus Therapy‘ is my kind of therapy. This album by Northern England’s Toxic Melons is inspiring, soul touching, and mind altering. The album plays like a journey through a toxic mind, but that’s ok. The songs are pop heaven, with shades of folk, blues, electronic, and some western influences. This Paul Fairbairn can write songs. The melodies are out of this world, and the harmonies, well, remind me of The Beach Boys. The music is wonderfully eccentric.The album is insanely addictive. It has me singing along and I haven’t figured out all of the lyrics yet!  An amazing compilation of great songs that has been placed on my must have list. Very cool.

 

 

#5     THE MINNOWS———‘Live At The Belfast Barge’

the minnowsAside from Yessongs, Waiting For Columbus and The Last Waltz, I have never been a big fan of live albums, but I have to add this Irish band’s ‘Live At The Belfast Barge to the list of great live albums. The songs are as wonderful as I remember them, and they stand up to the passage of time. The band is insanely cohesive, and the musicianship, extraordinary. I have spent the better part of the year immersed in The Minnows and I can tell you that swimming with the fishes is not a bad thing. This is a must for your collection.

 

 

#4     THE CORSETS———–‘Are You Lonely, Are You Scared’

the corsets

Are You Lonely, Are You Scared is a wonderful adventure. Toronto’s The Corsets manage to harness their individual talents into a harmonic whole that is indeed the sum of its parts. Each is easily identifiable, yet needs the other parts to be heard. The energy level is wonderfully exciting, and the songs well, incredibly creative. Add this to your collection. It is that good.

 

 

 

#3     XPRIME——–‘The Album’

xprimeXprime should be big. Hailing from Niagara Falls, Ontario, they write incredibly melodic songs with amazing harmonies and unforgettable hooks. These are talented musicians who seem to be having fun with every note played. ‘The Album‘ is a must have album. Give it 4 or 5 listens. At least. Pay particular attention to “To See You Here“, a 70′s pop-folk tune that reminds me of Poco, “Feels Like I’m The Only One“, a way cool song with R & B overtones, and “Early To The Sun“.

 

 

#2     THE AFTER HOURS——-‘Shaken, Not Stirred’

the after hoursI really like Los Angeles’ The After Hours. I am a fan! They cite among their many influences The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Kinks, The Byrds, The Zombies, The Hollies and The Turtles. Is it any wonder their music has wonderful 1960′s melodies, harmonies and riffs?  The vocals and the guitar work stand out. ‘Shaken, Not Stirred captures the essence of 60′s music. The songs are wonderfully written, and demonstrate a remarkable ability to integrate all of their influences into one cohesive and coherent sound. This is a must have album.

 

And, finally, the I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album Of The Year for 2014…

 

#1     THE HOT SPROCKETS——‘Brother Nature’

hsBrother Nature‘ by Ireland’s The Hot Sprockets. 13 tracks, and not a bad one to be found. I have listened to this album over and over, and it just keeps getting better. The songs are insanely good. The production, wonderful. These guys can write. These guys can play. The album has a ‘live off the floor’ feel to it. I haven’t heard this much energy in an album in a long time. The Hot Sprockets refer to their music as ‘country dirt”. I prefer to call it Irish Soul! Brother Nature is one of the most powerful albums I have heard in 2014, filled with the unusual, and the unexpected.

 

And there you have it. 10 exceptional albums. The I Can’t Believe My Earz picks for 2014. Give them a listen. Purchase them. Support Indie Music, and Indie bands.

 

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I CAN’T BELIEVE MY EARZ-INDIE ALBUM OF THE YEAR, 2013

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

newlogoAnd so, as 2013 draws to a close, we at I Can’t Believe My Earz have been weighing in on our Indie Album Of The Year.  We have listened to hundreds and hundreds of albums, written about 50 or 60 of our favorites, and created a short list of potential Album Of The Year winners. We would like to thank and congratulate all of the artists that we had the good fortune to listen to this past year. We enjoyed all of your music, and are proud to be involved in the Canadian Indie Music scene.

j&f1Jenny And The FelinesDon’t Look Back-Not Canadian, but the music is so amazingly good, I don’t care. This band rocks. This band rolls. Jenny And The Felines does it all. Don’t Look Back is a wondrous compilation of memorable tunes with catchy hooks and melodies. They have created a unique blend of 1960’s and 1970’s music with an alternative edge. Simple music. Great songs. Nothing forced and nothing overwhelming. Don’t Look Back is a way cool 60’s feel good journey.

nursery1The NurseryCarnival Nature-The Nursery have incorporated several styles and arrived at a sound that can best be described as acid/rock/soul/synth-folk/pop. Let’s be honest. Its just plain weird! Eccentric. But it is simply incredible. The songs are  unconventionally spectacular. The arrangements are weirdly wonderful and I’m having the time of my life listening. This is an album you won’t want to miss.

cs1The Creekside StraysThe Creekside Strays-This London, Ontario band released a classy and fun album  of exceptional songs. The Strays have a unique sound, a blend of rock, soul and pop which could best be described as Stray Rock. The self titled EP contains five wonderfully crafted songs that you will not be able to stop singing. Unforgivable not to have this gem in your collection.

pig1The PygmiesInside Your Mind-The Pygmies have nailed it. The sound is captivating and the songs are brilliantly written.  I enjoy the 2 1/2 minute tunes, which are written in a pop style-short and simple, and give me the sense that these were recorded live in one take. These guys are adept at dropping garage melodies into 1960’s pop, and 60’s pop melodies into garage music. They have a distinct knack for vocal melodies and harmonies, and a great sense of humor.

yb2Young BenjaminsLess Argue-These Saskatoon natives write amazingly well crafted songs and execute them to perfection. Incorporating pop rock, blues and middle eastern influences, Less Argue delivers. Strong vocals, great melodies and tremendous musical insight allows this young band to make the kind of album they want to make. Esoteric, eclectic and entertaining..  Ten tracks take you places you never knew you could get to. A must for every collection.  

The task then turned to selecting the Indie Album Of The Year from the 6 semi-finalists. It was not easy. There was yelling and screaming, some name calling, drinking, and, on one occasion, fisticuffs. After several days and nights of deliberation, postulation and  trepidation, here is the I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album of The Year for 2013:

toniks2

THE TONIKS-RISE & SHINE–Rise And Shine is Pop perfection. Not a bad track on the album. It will make you dance. It will make you sing. Best of all, it will make you happy. The song writing is exquisite, with simple lyrics about life and love and human interactions that take one to a more innocent and simple place.  These guys are amazingly talented. The music is insanely great The album is a wonderful timeNot just the top Indie album of 2013, but one of the most incredible albums we have heard. Exceptional song writing, brilliant melodies, wonderful harmonies and a way cool 1960’s British feel make this our Indie Album of The Year for 2013. Check it out for yourself. Congratulations to Mark, Jez, Tom, Jessica, and Colin.

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THE MICRONITE FILTERS-Chasing Ghosts

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

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There are blues bands, and then there are The Micronite Filters. As a follow up to their 2012 Ep,” The Wrong Side Of The Tracks“, this Oshawa, Ontario band went to the Mississippi hills to record their album. Produced by the legendary Jimbo Mathus and released on the independent label, Get Bent Records, “Chasing Ghosts” contains 10 tracks that redefine blues music.

The Ballad Of The Banker’s Son” has stand out vocals, slide guitar and an unforgettable bridge immersed in rock overtones . “Here She Comes Runnin’“, a Mississippi blues song if ever there was one, has herky-jerky instrumentation during the verse and then settles in the chorous. The band’s ability to play with time signatures is distinctly evident in this song. The title track, “Chasing Ghosts“, incorporates horns with guitar underlays. The saxophone is perfectly placed within the battalion style drumming.  The  bluesy vocals and eloquent melody line of “Ladies Man Blues” are accompanied only by harmonica, trombone and bass drum, and it sounds amazing.  In “Rambler’s Lament“, the rock melody is contrasted by blues guitar with echo effects and feedback. “Train Robbers”, another rock song, swirls amid blues music with a melody line that reminds me of T-Rex’s 20th Century Boy a great guitar solo and beautifully incorporated saxophone. The live recording feel of “When The Lonesome Whistle Blows” creates the perfect backdrop for the twangy steel guitar which emulates the vocal melody line. ” Hit The Hammer On The Nail“, gives us rock chords and blues rhythms, an amazing female vocal line, piano riffs and spectacular drum runs. “Walking Dead Man” has beautiful bell tones playing in the background. The drums are used to accentuate the vocal phrasing, while the fullness of the production creates a very powerful track. My vote for best song on the mf1album: “The Exile And The Canary“, a remarkable rock/blues/psychedelic journey into the Mississippi hills. The electric organ and drums make me think of The Doors until the song changes tempo and direction. The screaming guitars with rock riffs, the echo effect and the haunting vocals made me realize that this isn’t just any ordinary album.

The Micronite Filters are not just another blues band.  The music is raw, gritty, powerful, soulful and infectious. The songs are masterfully crafted. “Chasing Ghosts” is an exceptional album, which should be a contender for Indie Album Of The Year.

To listen to The Micronite Filters, follow the link below:

http://themicronitefilters.bandcamp.com/

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