Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Promise Ring - Very Emergency

This is my very favorite Promise Ring album. Yes, I know they were more experimental in their early days and this is their "sellout" album in which they openly embrace pop conventions and leave some of their indie leanings by the wayside. Even though I know that as a serious lover of music (I have a grimace on my face right now as if I'm passing these words like a kidney stone. That's what being serious about music is all about) I'm not supposed to applaud bands who go from the sublimely unique to the conventional and well-trodden, but heaven help me I love this album. It's actually the very first Promise Ring album I ever heard, so maybe there's something in that.

Even though most would claim that this album finds The Promise Ring as a shell of their former selves, I would argue that this is band at their most interesting lyrically if not instrumentally (there is little if any hint of the loud-quiet-loud formula of 30° Everywhere). I have listened to "Happiness is all the Rage" about a kabillion times now, and I'm still finding little lyrical nuances that I understand more now than I did when I first heard it. The same can be said for the title track, which is also one of my favorites in the band's catalogue. The whole feel of this album is very similar to Jets to Brazil's Orange Rhyming Dictionary, which is another of my favorite albums from this particular period and genre. I know what the naysayers say, but I dig this big time. I'm gonna give it lots of stars and let the haters hate if they want to.

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