Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Library Voices: "Summer Of Lust" (album review)

Over the past couple of years I've come to rely upon Regina's Library Voices for my indie pop fix.  That's why I've been so amped up for their new album Summer Of Lust (out August 23rd).  Going in I had no doubt it would be the perfect cheery and perky soundtrack for the tail end of my summer.

The band is a little louder and a little less cutesy this time around.  The call-and-response that was the hallmark of their earlier work has taken a bit of a back seat.  In it's place is a more forceful wall of sound that leans more heavily upon keyboards, which you can hear from the very opening of "If Raymond Carver Were Born In the 90's".

Witty song titles, clever lyrics, and literary references certainly haven't been abandoned.  Just the title "Que Sera Sarah" is almost as endearing as the head-bopping song itself.   I have to admit though, tracks based on Kurt Vonnegut's work are more fun than those based on Yates or Joyce.

While I disagree entirely with the sentiment behind "The Prime Minister's Daughter", it doesn't stop it from being incredibly infectious.  One cannot help but be impressed by the talent it takes to turn the phrase 'Parliament's making cuts' into a catchy chorus.

"Regina I Don't Want To Fight" is a nod to the band's home town, albeit a much peppy one than The Weakerthans' ode to Winnipeg "One Great City".  On "Be My Juliette Gréco, Paris 1949" yearns for a simpler time before Photoshop, collagen injections, and drunk dialing.

There are a pair of songs that don't really connect.  The concept is right for "Reluctant Readers Make Reluctant Lovers", but it lacks the charm of the rest of the album.  "Me, Myself, And ID" suffers in a similar way.

It's really the catchiness of the songs that make Library Voices so endearing.  Hook-laden tracks like "Generation Handclap", the bouncy kinetic "Traveller's Digest", and "Anthem for a New Canada" with it plucky Jam-style bass line, will have you clamouring for more.

Library Voices play the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto on October 28th.

Best tracks: "The Prime Minister's Daughter", "Traveller's Digest"

Track listing for Summer Of Lust:
  • Intro
  • If Raymond Carver Were Born In the 90's
  • Generation Handclap
  • Reluctant Readers Make Reluctant Lovers
  • Que Sera Sarah
  • Traveller's Digest
  • Be My Juliet Gréco, Paris 1949
  • The Prime Minister's Daughter
  • Me, Myself, And ID
  • Anthem for a New Canada
  • Regina, I Don't Want To Fight
  • Outro

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