The Few - The Few (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Few

The Few (2003)


Conor Oberst has an experimental orchestral folk band with Bright Eyes.

Conor Oberst has a straight up rock band with Desaparecidos.

And now, even though the liner notes credit someone else as singing, Conor Oberst has a no-frills 80's indie-pop band with The Few.

Now don't get all frazzled - this really isn't Oberst's new vehicle. But tell that to Jack Burnside, singer/guitarist of said band. His vocal stylings [and ability to tell a story within the confines of a 3-to-4 minute pop song] are almost a complete mimicry of Omaha's native son, vocal warble and all.

But here's the thing - I loathe anything Conor touches for the most part, but I'm digging on this album big time. Perhaps it's the music? The best comparison I could make for this is perhaps the lost ground in between the Replacements and the Get Up Kids. Everyone knows the 'Mats were a big influence on the Kids, but it didn't seem to show up until "On A Wire" - this band seems to have skipped the emo pretense and just paid homage on this, their debut record. Occasionally, shades of early U2 show up in the trio's guitar parts [in "Worth," for example], but mostly the songs are all pretty straightforward.

Oh yeah, I should mention that Andy LeMaster turned the knobs on this release, making the thing sound great *and* furthering the Oberst connection [shit, the guy records everything Conor does].

So is this album worth a listen? I'd say yes. Is it the best album of the year? Well, no, but it's pretty solid, and makes me wonder just where this band will go next.

Oh yeah, and "Blue Eyes" is one of the best album openers I've heard in a long time. Go download it from Kazaa or something, at least.

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