Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
on 14 June 2008
I'll begin by saying that I am completely new to this band. There are some reviews here from long-term fans and I just wanted to add the perspective of someone hearing the album without any previous experience.
In short, I think the album is outstandingly good. It puts me in mind of other great song-driven bands such as Tears for Fears or World Party or the less well-known Nada Surf. I think the band have created a very interesting mix of get-up-and-dance jangly pop/rock songs and some more thoughtful/experimental stuff with indie-leanings as well. There is nothing that will necessarily shock or surprise you here - this is mainstream stuff and the Beach-Boys inspired "You Can Do Better Than Me" or the appearance of the Tabla (bring out the Tablas!) later in the album really make that point, but the album is a very good blend of optimism and melancholy that American guitar bands seem to do so well. There are some subtle gems here though... unlike some other reviewers I think the 8-minute "I will possess your heart" is a work of genius and is reminiscent of the soundscapes of the Doves or of indie-bands like New Order. If you listen to it in those terms then it works really well.
If you prefer your music to be relatively mainstream, but enjoy occasional reminders of deeper things, then I think this album would make an essential addition to your collection. There are subtle overtones of so many great things here that, for me at least, the album is easy to listen to and an exciting joy at the same time. I'm so glad I came across this band!