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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Music Reviews

    The Sleepy Jackson…Personality (One was a spider, One was a bird)…7/10

    The Sleepy Jackson has done it again. After releasing Lovers in 2003, they have successfully mastered the art of the “”summer album.”” Last year around this time, I gleefully discovered “”Lovers”” and listened to it almost everyday. It was my summer ballad.

    Needless to say, when I saw that The Sleepy Jackson had come out with a new album I was ecstatic, to say the least. Even though their sound reeks of The Beatles mixed with The Flaming Lips, the upbeat poppy melodies mixed with fleeting vocals converge to facilitate bittersweet songs about love, life and, oh yes, God as well. Even though I don’t particularly enjoy songs about God, track five, “”God Knows,”” starts out with the brooding of Australian frontman and creative genius Luke Steele singing, “”Time’s ticking, you should just get up on the side and cheer along like.”” Later, Steele laments, “”All I want is to lead you there,”” among country chords and choruses, pretending the band has certainly found the meaning of life.

    The album employs a variety of different instruments ranging from guitars to pianos to the French horn. The 20/20 Orchestra choir group adds everything that Lovers was missing: grandiose layers of sound coupled with Steele’s vocals ranging in styles from pop to ’60s disco to the sad and melancholy. Even though I’ll probably keep this around for the rest of the summer, I’m still left wishing for something more simplistic, with less of an overbearing personality.

    -Nicole Santa Cruz


    The Format…Dog Problems…7/10

    It had been quite a while since I heard some new music from Arizona’s latest breakthrough band, The Format, but their second album Dog Problems has quenched that thirst.

    Although the sound on this album deviates from the pop-hit driven theme of their last album Interventions and Lullabies, a few listens through proves The Format has successfully evolved.

    Taking a chance with full orchestration on almost all the tracks, Nate Ruess’ relationship related lyrics prevail throughout the album. However, “”The Matches,”” features an echo treatment on Ruess’ voice, which does no justice to his superb vocal talent.

    “”Dog Problems,”” the title track, is memorable with a 1920s beat and catchy vocals. However, the stand out song on the album is “”Dead End”” which is contagious.

    Longstanding Format fans may be disappointed at first to not hear a single after single on this album, but the true music fan will appreciate the duo for attempting a much more complex sound.

    -Lauren Hillery

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