What a jalopy of an album this is. Everything about it screams
"thrown together" and yet it is so perfect in its
delivery... so how could it be anything but contrived?
But do we care? Eh, no.
Imagine you're in some cheesy beach party movie from the '60s
and you've reached that point where the party's success hinges
upon the band you've hired to play actually making it there
before everyone leaves. Only problem is, the van's broken down,
and the lead singer's girl has gotten all pouty because he doesn't
spend time with her anymore so he's gotta take the night off
to console her. So, now you're kinda screwed. You really put
it all on the line, and you can't go the rest of your senior
year as the guy or girl who couldn't get it together on the
last day of summer. But there're some people in the crowd--
this guy can sing and play guitar, these girls can play and
sing together, that guy over there can play drums
before you know it, in typical Music Man fashion, you've
got yourself a band. While we're at it, we might as well call
them The Frenchmen. Their music is noisy, sloppy and
a little out of tune, sort of like grandpa's old Model A; it
ambles along, sounds ready to fall apart at any moment, but
it's still a fun ride. They get your ass out of the jam, and
before you know it you're makin' out with Annette Funicello
or Frankie Avalon. Hot damn!
The Frenchmen's music is fun, whimsical and ephemeral; eventually
you know that the party will end and you'll have to go back
to your boring old life, but you'll enjoy it until then or at
least die trying.
Now, I've been steadily convinced that "indie" had
basically phased itself out and was being replaced by "emo"
or some other such nonsense, when this little gem of an album
comes along and effectively (sic) reigns on the coronation ceremony
of the current "big thing." Whatever it is.
Can something be pretentious in its simplicity? Simultaneously
overwrought and under-produced? Probably. It may be deliberate
in its delivery of a fluid composition with a slapped-together
sound, but that shouldn't deprive it of accolade. Be careful
of playing it around your parents though, lest they start dancing
the Watusi or some o' those other crazy things that old people
did back then. I mean really- "Beach Blanket Bingo?"
1. change of season
2. crimes of fashion
3. tell me why (flatmates cover)
4. chemistry lessons
5. private name, private number
7. black and white
8. veterans' day
9. flake for you
10. like the weather
11. matthew mark lupe and jon
12. a live track
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