Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 9:30 a.m.
Artist: Slow Club
Title: Yeah So
Release date: March 30
Label: Moshi Moshi
Breaking up never sounded so fun as it does when sung by the angel-voiced Rebecca Taylor and her Slow Club bandmate Charles Watson. When they sing "I've gotta ruin tonight / Because there's no good way to say I'm leaving you / There is no good way to say I'm leaving you," it sounds almost as if they were delivering good news instead of bad on the piano ballad "There Is No Good Way to Say I'm Leaving You."
These two Brits sound even more charming while singing "Cause I've been tired and hopeful / For far too long now / So I'm giving it up, giving up, giving up on love," on the poppy downer "Giving Up on Love."
So what gives with Slow Club? Why all the heartache wrapped up in cotton candy? You get the feeling they've been asked that question before, and I'm guessing their answer lies in the album's title: "Yeah, so?"
On several songs, including the nearly-too-cute-for-its-own-good opener, "When I Go," Taylor and Watson come off as a latter-day Simon & Garfunkel, with their finger-picking and tight harmonies and pop-folk melodies. Then they'll turn on a dime, kick it up a notch, and sound like they're drunkenly bashing out three-chord sing-alongs in an Irish pub.
It all works very well for the first half of the record, but Slow Club seems to run out of tricks or ideas or both. Even their abundant amount of charm (I fully expect to hear one of these songs on an iPad commercial before too long) couldn't keep my full attention by the time I was on track 8.
Fans of pop-folk, She & Him, and British cuteness should take note of Slow Club.
Best song: "Giving Up on Love"
Deja Vu: An older, wiser, settled-down Los Campesinos!
"Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 40-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.
The "Nothing Not New" Archives