The band name is a mouthful and a tad bit silly, but Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin prove on Let It Sway
that they are not ridiculous, nor even slightly pretentious. In the past few years, they've carved out a corner in the indie-pop category and this third album, following 2008's Pershing
and produced by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla, sees them really digging into the genre.
Admittedly, doing pop music is hard and when done incorrectly, it comes off sounding like a cheap and contrived rip-off or a gimmick-ridden and tacky piece of commercial junk. Too often, the simplicities of the genre are cited as scapegoats: i.e. "Well it was meant
to sound like that," or "We just wanted
it to be easily accessible." But, really, there is a way to have fun and be inspired. Weezer accomplished it years and years ago, and Missouri natives SSLYBY have done it here with Let It Sway
Actually, there is a handful of similarities between the two bands, and in some respects, it wouldn't be far-fetched to say that SSLYBY are currently channeling a lot of what made Pinkerton
such a success. There's a confidence that is relaxed and captivating, and it makes the band sound comfortable as well as believable a trait that Weezer has had for as long as Cuomo has had those glasses. Right off the bat you hear this in the first song of the album, "Back in the Saddle," a pretty folk-tinged, whimsical sing-a-long that bears some quietly sung, yet sincere declarations: "We're gonna bomb the battlefield/We're gonna take you down/We're gonna build a street that's perfect/We're gonna make it last." The confidence is in full-force on their single "Sink/Let It Sway," a feel-good, contagious tune that might convince just about anyone to sway around, swinging hips and all, out on the dance floor.
But the most Weezer-esque aspect of Let It Sway
's SSLYBY is the rough-around-the-edges sound. Don't get me wrong the pop feel is as clear as day, but much of the album, especially "Banned (By the Man)" and "Everlyn," have a vintage quality to them, marked by raw guitar-driven arrangements and the deliverance of emotions minus any overwrought pretenses. As the going says, third luck's a charm. I'm only sad they didn't release this earlier in the summer. - michelle geslani
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Exclusive Concert Video: SSLYBY @ Asbury Lanes
MP3: "Banned By The Man"
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin on Myspace