On their latest album, Animal Joy (amazon) (itunes), it can be easy to dismiss a full listen because if you’re not paying attention it almost sounds like a satire of other bands. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but the vocals tiptoe along a very very fine line between unique and so-distinct-they-must-be-doing-this-on-purpose-right? When you tread beyond that first impression you will be rewarded with a fantastic album from start to finish. At times a few tracks drag on (until put down down by the classic studio fade), but overall this album is filled with energy, depth, and unique musical moments that highlight the bands decade long career.
Animal Life is the lead off track for the album and it does a great job of putting a listener in the right frame of mind for the remainder of the 45 minutes. You as You Were is the fourth track on the album and is arguably my favorite. It could flippantly be described as a sort of Baba O’Riley as interpreted by The Decemberists. And that is probably the most apt description I could give to this album. As I described it to a coworker a few weeks ago I feel like this album is what you would get if you took all the best parts from The Decemberists (and left out all of their rather annoying songs) and made an album with that talent. It’s weird to always compare bands to one another, but in the end everything is influenced by and derived from something else. Even opinions of aging bloggers.