The title of this review comes from an interview I read last year with LSF's Tim Harrington. The passage from the interview goes:
"An area of interest for me lyrically," he (Tim) explains, "is to be able to address whatever the harshest and most negative elements are in life and society and defy that, not with a pie-eyed optimism, but with a really cold-hearted optimism. Don't expect the world to change. Change yourself. Change your perception of it."
This idea comes across in a number of songs on Let's Stay Friends, which in my opinion is their best album to date and easily the best rock album of 2007. "The Year Before the Year 2000" and "Kiss, Kiss is Getting Old" touch on what he was talking about, and "The Lowest Bitter" - the album's passionate and fiery closer - says it perfectly.
This is an incredibly fun and optimistic album, and their songwriting and playing has gotten even better with this latest release. I love how these guys are just hardcore perfectionists when it comes to the final product - always shooting for better. "The Equestrian" is an instant classic and one of their best songs ever, an infectious rocker. "Patty Lee" is the catchiest, and in my opinion captures the band in top form, in every way. The song is tight, structure-wise; the lyrics are as good as anything Tim's ever written; and the playing is awesome, especially the guitar-playing .. just brilliant.
Other highlights are "Kiss, Kiss is Getting Old", which sounds like it was AIMED at folks in their mid-thirties (like myself, I could be biased here), "Raging in the Plague Age" and "Slugs in the Shrubs". "Raging" has a great backup refrain, sung by either a boys choir or hired nuns. Or possibly friends of the band. "Slugs" has some great-sounding effects that integrate perfectly with the song .. in fact, both Slugs and Raging would have fit in very well on Cat and the Cobra.
LSF are one of the few rock bands out there that prove rock can still be exciting, intelligent and original. I truly hope they continue on, in whatever way they damn well please.