This Providence - Our Worlds Divorce (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

This Providence

Our Worlds Divorce (2004)


On a tip from Gatsbys American Dream, Rocketstar Recordings swiftly picked up Seattle's This Providence, whose debut, Our Worlds Divorce, happens to be a cohesive collection of pop/rock songs with solid vocals, clever drumming, and more than enough bells and whistles to keep things interesting.

In a lot of ways, this reminds me of Down To Earth Approach's debut, another major power-pop-rock first impression from this past year that really failed to impress me in any major way (except for "Exhibit Of The Year," which is permanently etched into my memory). The difference here is that This Providence do plenty of little things that give the songs an edge. While the first few seconds of the opener "Well Versed In The Ways Of The World" is an odd way to present yourself in it being a little too gentle and really not carrying a fire - or even the sandpaper strip for striking the match - to directly open the disc, it has this truly awesome bridge where the band seamlessly slips into an almost-jazzy segue with skittering percussion and a flat-out groovy chord progression, and gives the perfect first impression of the spectacular drum-work displayed throughout the rest of the album. Their overall use of overlapping vocals are flawless and the rare keyboard-induced electronics are classy and appropriate. The band even sneaks in some double-time - if only for 19 seconds - into their minute-long secret track.

The looming fault is the truly self-loathing lyrics. While the personality of the record could roughly be mistaken for one who takes sly sarcastic bites at modern culture, I'm convinced that's not the present case. "Everyday" has great distorted vocal melodies of the line "everybody's got something for me to do, and my head's filled with thoughts of everything but you," but it also serves as a perfect example of this problem. If nothing else, some of these songs are catchy as all hell; the drawn-out breakdown of "Our Flag Is White" is more infectious than the latest STD you contracted from your scenester girlfriend. "The whole world hates us/the whole world hates our song...but still we sing" might be another triplet of lines helping the self-pity theory, but that doesn't mean it's leaving my head anytime soon.

It takes a few listens to discover the subtle creativity This Providence pulls off, but the reward is just about worth the effort. It also proves that there's something interesting brewing here that might be worth the long-term wait.

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