Bad CDs are really easy to write reviews for.
Good CDs are usually pretty simple to write a review for, also.
Great CDs? They take a bit more work. Usually a thesaurus is busted out, and I actually check for grammar errors.
Really great CDs? Those are hard to write about.
This is a really great CD.
I really don't know what to tell you. Jamie Woolford wants to be a rock star, and this album should, in all fairness, put him there. The songs are the best he's ever written. The lyrics are the most introspective and intelligent he's ever done. Sure, a lot of the tracks are about girls [shit, he's in a pop-rock band - what else would he write about?], but tracks like "Vice Versa Inquisition" and "Have I Paid My Debt To Mpls?" are lightyears beyond anything prior in the Stereo's catalog. The riffs are thicker, too, like in "1994" - definitely air-guitar worthy.
A fellow Minneapolis band's influence shows up in the intro to "Just Let Go" - I could've sworn it was a Husker Du song when it started. Of course, once the song progresses into the sugary sweet verse, you know it could only be the Stereo.
The 2 songs on this album that have previously been available as demos through the Stereo's webpage; "Pay No Attention" and "Turn Off Your T.V."; both have received pretty incredible reworkings and both sound fantastic. The guitar solos in both tracks make for a wonderful listening experience.
"Too Little, Too Late" and "Vice Versa Inquisition / No Name #2" are both performed completely by Jamie. His programming skills have gotten much better, and the laid back groove of "No Name #2" says that he might have a trip hop record hidden in the back of him somewhere. "Too Little, Too Late" benefits from a constantly switching shuffled drum beat, keeping the song well-paced enough for Jamie to croon to his long lost love.
I really could talk forever about this album, but I don't think I could actually *say* much more. This is the best no frills pop-rock album of the year thus far. Hell, this is the best no frills pop-rock band the United States has to offer right now. It's destined to be a classic.
Pay No Attention
Album snippet sampler