Friday, August 24, 2007

The Thrills: Teenager

Say what you want about the Thrills having a schtick: they work the jangly Beach Boys-by-way-of-Ireland angle real, reaaaal well, and when it sounds as good as it did on So Much For The City, sometimes you just gotta tell your friends to STFU and enjoy. That album captured all of the romanticism that young people project on California and summertime, and I loved it for that. That debut album featured honest-to-god pop gems like "Don't Steal Our Sun" and "Big Sur," and there wasn't a song on it that was skippable. Then came the uneven, more mature but not-so-highly-praisable Let's Bottle Bohemia, and everybody sighed a collective meh and filed them under One Album Wonder. I was holding out hope they'd have another amazing album in them...

While Teenager isn't quite on the same level as So Much For The City, but Conor Deasy's poetic lyrics and the band's beautiful harmonies do make for a pretty -- if not quite as powerful or transcendent -- end of summer album. Some of the songs, which are all about growing older and reminiscing about youth and being a teenager and taking time for granted, suffer a bit from sounding a little too similar-sounding to one another, especially at the album's center. Still, there are some very well-written and well-orchestrated compositions, especially in the album's opening track, "The Midnight Choir," and the album's titular track, which is more down-tempo, giving Deasy's weary voice and really impressive lyrics the chance to shine. And the more I listen to this one, the more I appreciate it.

"The Midnight Choir" [MP3]

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