Home Read Classic Album Review: Martin Tielli | Operation Infinite Joy

Classic Album Review: Martin Tielli | Operation Infinite Joy

The Rheostatics guitarist's creativity knows no bounds on his ambitious solo album.

This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


If Rheostatics guitarist Martin Tielli really wants to find his infinite joy, he should look next to his creativity — it clearly knows no bounds. Or at least none that it feels like obeying (or even acknowledging, for that matter) on his wildly eclectic and irresistibly beautiful new solo album.

From its opening words (“I hate you all / You smell like borrowed ideas”) to its final angelic strains, Operation Infinite Joy is a document of bold flamboyance, rich texture and keen inspiration. Recycled Zep licks, Richard Thompson references, Smog covers, Brian Wilsonesque pop, spidery guitars, falsetto vocals, odes to Winnipeg winter, you name it; Tielli tosses all of it and much more into the blender here and then hits frappé, churning up a pitcher of tasty art-pop operettas that go down smooth and leave you thirsty for more. Fear not; in a marketing plan every bit as ambitious as his artistry, Tielli is using this disc to kick off a four-CD “subscription series” — for $100, you get limited-edition, numbered and signed albums with unique packaging and artwork by Tielli. If that doesn’t bring a fan infinite joy, I don’t know what would.