The Dears – Missiles

October 22, 2008

The latest release from Montreal based band the Dears is a good, if not great album that nevertheless contains enough flashes of brilliance to enable one to forgive some of its rough patches. They’ve gone through some serious personnel changes recently, to the point where the only remaining band members are husband and wife Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak, who share vocal duties here. The central flaw with Missiles is that the songs tend to meander, sometimes a lot, resulting in songs like the opener, “Disclaimer,” which doesn’t really kick in until two minutes in, and “Saviour,” the album closer that tops 11 minutes. A couple of other tracks don’t go much of anywhere or else fizzle out. That said, I have no problem with the 8 minute mid-album “Lights Off,” which seems just the right length and is a real highlight. On repeat listens, I started overlooking the album’s flaws and concentrated on its strengths, the sharp, incisive lyrics and the smooth mix of jazz, soul and indie pop, products of a unique sensibility making music for adults and crafting it with intelligence and a lot of heart. Missiles may be a flawed album, but it’s still top drawer indie pop for the most part, and well worth your indie pop while. Standout cuts: “Dream Job,” “Lights Off,” “Crisis 1 & 2” and “Demons.”

http://www.myspace.com/thedears

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