Monday, January 31, 2011

Lucky - Nada Surf

Nada Surf
Barsuk  bark70LP

I bought this as a CD a while back and loved it so much that I recently went out and got it on vinyl.  Ideally I like to have all the albums that I really love on vinyl.  I have nothing against CDs, I own lots of them, but to me the vinyl LP is still the ideal format for music.  I love this album so much, it would definitely be a desert island record for me.  I've listened to it over a hundred times and it still sends me.  It picked me up when I was down and it made good days even better.  Matthew Caws has a classic alternative rock voice, sensitive, expressive and tender - akin to Fran Healy, Ben Gibbard or James Mercer.  The harmonies and arrangements are terrific as is the songwriting with memorable melodies, colorful imagery and clever lyrics throughout.  "See These Bones" is one of the best pop songs that I've ever heard, every time I play it my spirit soars.  Its allure is irresistible to me and I love the lyrics about regret and seizing the day.  I know a lot of Nada Surf fans think "Let Go" is their best album and I really love it too, but for me this is their masterpiece.  Every song is terrific, I'm enthralled by the record from beginning to end.  It is hard to single out specific favorite songs, but I guess I would opt for "Beautiful Beat," "Are You Lightning," "I Like What You Say" and "Ice on the Wing."  I haven't been so obsessed with a new record since "Oh Inverted World" by the Shins.  I doubt that Nada Surf will ever be the best band in the world (that would be Radiohead) and they may never make another record this good again, but as far as I am concerned they have earned their permanent place in the rock pantheon.  Give me a hammer and chisel and I'll gladly carve that in stone.  Recommended to disgruntled Travis fans and impatient Shins fans.

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