Old LP

that dog.

UMe, 2019


REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


On their first release in 22 years, the long-awaited return of that dog has brought with it an updated sound and a more mature outlook. Missing the sound of Petra Haden’s violin and backing vocals, the band has turned down the volume as well. Nowadays, they would be more at home with Beck’s current material as opposed to Weezer, who were all their contemporaries when they came out 25(!) years ago.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Opening track “Your Machine” is a slow burner until about midway through when the heaviness comes back and Anna Waronker’s sultry vocals come to the forefront. It serves as a nice segue to “Just The Way,” which is a straight-up rocker in the mold of their older records. It reminds longtime fans that they haven’t really lost a step. This is a great track and a nice reminder that if you dig hard enough, real rock ‘n’ roll really isn’t dead.

The album feels a bit slower and ballad heavy, but that’s not a bad thing when it comes to this band. They’re able to showcase their musical sensibilities, and on certain tracks, like “Bird On A Wire,” everything comes directly to the forefront and ends up working really well. “If You Just Didn’t Do It” picks up the pace with some great musicality and would have made a great single for the band back in the ‘90s. “Alone Again” is probably the slowest they’ve ever been, but the harmonies are so perfect one would think they’re back in the ‘60s. Vocally, this band is perfect and can never be messed with in that category.

“Least I Could Do” is an okay song, but it’s just a setup for the closing title track, which is singlehandedly the best thing this band has ever done. Recorded on a soundstage with a full orchestra arranged by Randy freakin’ Newman, this song finds the group’s vocals taking center stage. It showcases just how truly amazing this band is and what really makes them stand out from the rest of the generic sounding alt rock bands of their ilk. Spine-chillingly good!

This is one of the best comeback records I’ve heard from one of the coolest bands of the modern rock era. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait very long for more greatness.

Rating: B+

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