|Bishop Allen / Lights Out|
|Add Date:||2014-08-22|| ||Pull Date:||2014-10-24|| |
|Week Ending:||26 Oct||12 Oct||5 Oct||28 Sep||21 Sep||14 Sep||7 Sep||31 Aug|
“Lights Out” Bishop Allen|
First new album in 5 years from this indie pop-rock band from New York. Bishop Allen was formed just over a decade ago by Harvard grads Justin Rice and Christian Rudder and is named for a street they lived on — Bishop Allen Drive in Cambridge, Mass. This 12-song set features catchy melodies and precise arrangements that rely on acoustic guitars, lively synths, and occasionally edgy electric guitars to showcase the song’s smart lyrics. On Lights Out, Bishop Allen is growing up a bit — with “everybody getting tired of drinking every night” (Why I Had to Go) and wanting to “talk about the past…” and “talk about the future” (Good Talk). But while the songs may examine serious topics, they still have the energy, wit and strong hooks that make for an outstanding album.
Recommended: 1, 2, 8, 11, 3, 9, 4, 12. No FCCs detected.
1. (3:54) Start Again – Bright and bubbly synth and guitar pop. Perfectly captures summer’s feelings of freedom. First single. ****
2. (3:54) Why I Had to Go – Another strong, up-tempo hook-y tune distinguished by the smooth, rhyming vocals of Justin Rice. Great interplay between synths and jangly guitar. Snappy drums. ****
3. (3:17) Crows – Syncopated, island rhythms, busy bass line and soaring vocals. Ideal for a day at the beach. Builds to a big finish. Mild language: “goddamn.” ***
4. (3:26) No Show – Mellower sound. Edgy guitar in breaks. Finishes with growling guitar, plus crashing cymbals and drums. **
5. (3:05) Give It Back – Noisey, guitar-driven power pop with swirls of synths.
6. (2:41) Black Hole — Playful, bouncy tune featuring the lead vocals of Rice’s wife, artist and long-time band member, Darbie Nowatka. Almost a 1960s feel updated for today.
7. (3:43) Skeleton Key – Funky, skippy rhythm with drums, bass, piano and guitar. Swinging vocals.
8. (4:15) Good Talk – Up-tempo guitar rock. Catchy melody with really strong hooks, a great chorus and fun lead break. ****
9. (4:23) Hammer and Nail – Blends the distorted guitars of psych-rock with playful synths and a catchy melody. Nowatka echoes Rice’s vocals near the end. **
10. (3:49) Bread Crumbs – Chill rhythm set up by synth bass, noisemakers, handclaps, and drums. Quirky call-and-response vocals. Brass accompaniment.
11. (3:11) No Conditions – Starts with whispered, almost spoken vocals and builds into a guitar-driven, power pop anthem. ***
12. (2:54) Shadow – Simple, soft, strummy closer featuring Nowatka on lead vocals again. Has a Randy Newman-like quality, as if it’s from a movie or Broadway show. Innocent and real. **