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Nada Surf - The Weight Is A Gift (Cover Artwork)

Nada Surf

Nada Surf: The Weight Is A GiftThe Weight Is A Gift (2005)
Barsuk Records

Reviewer Rating: 3


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Count Nada Surf as yet another formerly potential one-hit wonder far removing themselves from the inklings of their single (in this case, mid-90's MTV alterna-rock hit "Popular") to provide something much more rich and deep, and stylistically different altogether. The Weight Is A Gift is the band's .
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Count Nada Surf as yet another formerly potential one-hit wonder far removing themselves from the inklings of their single (in this case, mid-90's MTV alterna-rock hit "Popular") to provide something much more rich and deep, and stylistically different altogether. The Weight Is A Gift is the band's fourth full-length overall, and second for the indie grounds of Barsuk. If the band's early, major label material was pure alternative rock, then their latter stuff, including the new delivery here, is assuredly indie pop. It's mellow, smooth, always upbeat, and just affecting, assumingly fitting in rather well on a label package tour between John Vanderslice and refugees on good terms Death Cab For Cutie.

Opener "Concrete Bed" moves along at a fine pace and an acoustic-dependent shuffle, immediately ushering in the album with some paced brushes of guitar chords. Matthew Caws has to be smiling as the opening words "the world's locked up in your head / you've been pouring it a concrete bed" leave his mouth, as never more in the album is the upswing in his voice so prevalent; if the first song on the record could be described in one word, it'd easily be 'sunny.' The breakout more or less in "Do It Again" is a great changeup to the rest of the song, with Caws suddenly bursting out "I spend all my energy staying upright / and I like the masking noise quiet of your breathing nearby." It's pretty efficient, and Caws' enunciation of 'quiet' is pleasantly peculiar. You're sure to perk up after a slight mid-album lull with Caws singing "ohhh, fuck it" in "Blankest Year." It's one of the more up-tempo tracks, and an admission of "I'm going to party" only furthers the pacing. It's not aggressive or in your face by any means, but in contrast to the rest of the album moves rather well.

On top of that, production is near flawless. Stick this next to Youth Group's recently reissued Skeleton Jar; you can tell it's Death Cab's Chris Walla at the helms, and it's someone who knows how to perfectly bring out the traits of any band doing this type of music. The vocals flow through the speakers like a best friend's conversation, and the guitar tones either give off a heavy, old star twinkle or resonate with valley-low background moans.

Few in the genre can lure in the listener playing with such a limited palette of compelling characteristics to draw from, and I can't say The Weight Is A Gift quite lives up to any of the current masters of it. Hardly a challenging listen, it's quite a notable entry into the style regardless, and indie pop doesn't really get much more pleasurable and satisfying than this, and in a fairly consistent format considering.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Weezer - WeezerDescendents - Everything SucksThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundNada Surf - LuckyDead to Me - Cuban BallerinaPrimus - Sailing the Seas of CheeseThe Weakerthans - Reconstruction SiteNada Surf - If I Had a Hi-FiNada Surf - The Stars Are Indifferent to AstronomyDead To Me - Moscow Penny Ante

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
stevejonestherealbones (September 26, 2005)

this band has some really good songs, havent heard this though

this is nada bus

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Anonymous (September 22, 2005)

score is for me for going to the high school where they shot the "popular" video.

go bayonne bees.

Anonymous (September 22, 2005)

What it said butt robber....

Inspection12e (September 21, 2005)

"high/low is bad ass let go is half as good
proximity effect is ok
[b]Treehouse/Zen Brain/Hollywood/Stalemate [/b]
are where its at oh yeah and high speed soul and 80 windows are all right too"

What?>

Anonymous (September 21, 2005)

Has anyone heard "Let Go"? That album is great low-key chilling indie- rock. If this album is anything as good I'm getting it for sure. To compare them to their days on MTV and Muchmusic is pure nonsense. Check out "Let Go".

-Not-To-Regret

SkolarX (September 20, 2005)

i always found it funny that these guys released a single making fun of a certain crowd and when the song got big those were the people buying the record. gotta love when a band is making fun of their audience and the people are too stupid to realise the joke is on them

Anonymous (September 20, 2005)

Calling All Artists...Buildings are no longer cool on the cover of album artwork. This score is for leaving Wilco alone.

superlagwag (September 20, 2005)

mattew caw is my friends cousin, pretty cool eh?

Anonymous (September 20, 2005)

college kids
ner

Inspection12e (September 20, 2005)

Before this album I never really cared for Nada Surf.

Anonymous (September 20, 2005)

high/low is bad ass let go is half as good
proximity effect is ok
Treehouse/Zen Brain/Hollywood/Stalemate
are where its at oh yeah and high speed soul and 80 windows are all right too

sfbarker (September 20, 2005)

"we've made 8 albums, we're not popular..."

Anonymous (September 20, 2005)

That MP3 of the week (Do It Again) was pretty sweet in an inoffensive Built To Spill kind of way.

But I can't see myself listening to a whole album of music this, well, inoffensive unless the lyrics are absolutely incredible (see: The Weakerthans, The Paperbacks).

Anonymous (September 20, 2005)

I really enjoed Let Go (not the Avril Lavigne album), but then I lost it. Damn and shit. I should download it or something.

Anonymous (September 20, 2005)

brian is always pimpin shit out as mp3 of the weeks and then scoring them as measly sixes

and by always i mean twice

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