Saturday, July 2, 2011

Dramarama- Stuck in Wonderamaland

If you know two Dramarama songs and two only, chances are they are "Anything, Anything" and "Last Cigarette." I already discussed "Anything, Anything" in the review for Cinéma Vérité. "Last Cigarette" is another college rock anthem. I can't deny that it's a great song. Having admitted that, I must also state that Stuck in Wonderamaland would still succeed as an album without "Last Cigarette."

The only bone I have to pick with Stuck in Wonderamaland is this: they open with a clear closer. The title track is too slow and pensive when you consider the rest of the album. They reprise it at the end of the album, and although I know they meant to bookend the album the reprise feels unnecessary. As soon as the slow and wandering title track is over, the album kicks into some high energy jangly college rock with "No Regrets." The rest of the album feels more like "No Regrets" than it does the title track. If you close with the title track and leave the album with a sort of, "I miss the innocence of childhood and the freedom I knew before life strapped me down" feeling, it makes sense and doesn't feel out of place. As an opener it left me a little bored. Opening tracks should either knock your socks off or build interest in the rest of the album. "Stuck in Wonderamaland" does neither.

Aside from that single picking bone, I really enjoyed this album. It rocks in highly enjoyable ways. It's like the gritty cousin of Automatic For the People era R.E.M. I dig it. I dig it big time.

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