2009 Top 50 Albums

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Creating a Top 50 Albums list is never easy.  You have to battle with what you think the world believes, and what you truly believe in your heart, to be solid jams.  We have even more trouble because we have to three writers, all who have different ideas, and we have to make those ideas fit into a neat box.  Well, we got it done, and honestly, our criteria was based on two things: how great we thought the album was, artistically speaking, and how long we listened to it without getting bored.  That’s it. It’s fool proof; you might not like it, but it’s our list, so here it is… Read more

Pants Yell! – Received Pronunciation

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Rating: ★★★★ ·

Amidst the world of lo-fi stands one Slumberland Records band who is willing to go against the grain.   Ladies and gentleman we present to you, Pants Yell!. Well, we don’t actually present them to you, as Received Pronunciation is the group’s third proper release.  Still, after being all over the SR catalogue this year, and I assure you, we’re still into it, we now have a new record to fall in love with as the year draws to an end.

You see, when opening track “Frank and Sandy” comes through your speaker, you’re not sure what you were expecting, but you most assuredly weren’t awaiting the haphazard delivery of the lyrics, let alone the song itself.  It just seems to sort of traipse along, ever really reaching any sort of climax.  Such restraint, however, is actually refreshing.

You can find much clarity and precision on every single song that plays through this album.  If you added heavy string arrangements, and perhaps a few more witticisms you might call this a Belle and Sebastian record.  Still, that is lazy journalism, but if I told you that they sound like a much more confident Oh No! Oh My! you would probably be a little confused.  More so, there is a particular youthfulness in this that B&S have moved beyond, perhaps even a little naivete, but such innocence, especially in the banality of the lyrics really makes the listening experience one of the most enjoyable of the last several months.  Take the humorous “Spider,” which seems like an elementary student channeling Calvin Johnson.

This album just continually seems to give back to the listener, each song seemingly a touch different then the last, while consistently staying in the same place.  Take “Someone Loves You” versus “Not Wrong,” two songs that have similarity in song structure, but the hurried percussion in the former picks up the tempo, creating a song that sounds nothing like the tune that will follow two tracks later.  And as the album draws near to an end, it all seems so familiar.  Perhaps those who fell in love with Jeremy Jay will find that they can take his promise and craft, hand it over to a set of vibrant like-minded youths, and it will come out like Received Pronunciation.

Everyone is sure to grab ahold of this band, as they are clearly ready to step into a light of their own.  Three albums into their career, and it seems that the group can’t go too wrong.  Let’s cross our fingers that Pants Yell! continue to build upon the talent and joy displayed in their latest effort, Received Pronunciation.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/06-Someone-Loves-You.mp3]

Download: Pants Yell! – Someone Loves You [MP3]