Monday, October 27, 2008

The Narrative - Just Say Yes

Release Date: 08/26/08
Genre: Indie Pop

So I liked this EP so much that I actually learned their names. Jesse's the guy. Suzie's the girl. Charlie's the drummer. Brandon's name doesn't end with an E. What a dickface.

Review: So I can't really see this band getting too popular. They aren't catchy, but I would tune in more if radio did start playing music like this. In short, their music is a long term friendship. Jesse and Suzie share vocal duties and I know I'm a sucker for male/female harmonies, The Narrative impresses me most for being really normal. Based on these 6 songs, Jesse's voice fits with a nice guy finish last motif and Suzie's voice is made of pure love. I want to treasure her voice. It should crack, but she always remains in perfect key. And Jesse isn't too sappy or tough, just a buddy buddy guy.

I'm talking too much. But listen to "Libra" where Suzie gets to be the lead. It's the 4th song on the EP so I was getting used to the band being a duo and Jesse was mainly the voice, but she's so magical on her own. I love the chorus because it sounds like she's trying to fit in too many words in the measure. Even when she shifts from her norm to the more hectic, her voice is natural so both verse and chorus are strong. And the ending is just a nice jam. I think I hear a cello. So for that, I found "Libra" to be their strongest song.

But back up. "Castling" is the opener and it's quiet with taps of the drums and rustling guitars. The keyboard makes the song really cool. It's a twinkle sound and I enjoy the "bob bob bob" towards the end. And in all of their songs, when one is singing, the other compliments the other so it's like they feed off one another. There's a repeating bass riff that sounds like someone is climbing up the stairs. Good payoff at the end.

"The Moment That It Stops" is similar, but the vocals are more broken between words. Mainly because the guitar's melodies has plucking to it so I'm guessing both of them wanted to mimic it. So it's less smooth giving it a different flavor than other songs.

"Eyes Closed" is made of water with Suzie floating in the background. It's mostly quiet so the ripples of the guitar are clean. Crazy vocal harmonies and after 3 minutes, they bring the rest of the band in and it's just a cool clash of music. "The Photographer's Daughter" isn't a bad song, but I can't really find anything to say about it. It continues the other songs with nice duo male/female vocals. Jesse is the lead. I just found it be to be weak.

And last, "Waiting Room" is a Suzie song. I don't want to sound bias towards her because Jesse's voice is good too, but damn this song is gorgeous. I didn't even notice there was a verse-chorus relationship to this song til I looked up the lyrics. It just sounds like she's talking to herself and not making a song about it.

So the lyrics are great because they aren't trying to force a rhyme. Some of the words are words I don't use everyday so it paints a nice picture in my mind when they say stuff like "familiar scent of sterile instruments" or " my hands are wandering astray." So for other bands, sometimes I'll be picky because there isn't much emotional range in vocals or music, but The Narrative are stationed at the same place throughout the album. Yet I don't want to complain. Just wanted to throw that out there because I think that's the only downside I can think of.

Summary: This isn't cutesy like The Weepies or crazy like Stars or catchy like Tilly and the Wall. The Narrative are a conversation between the person and it's mind. I love that they don't force rhymes. I love that they don't hide their simple approach by shorting their songs. They might not be doing anything new, but damn are they good at what they do. And Suzie, "oh my god you're beautiful."

Key Tracks: Castling, The Moment That It Stops, Libra
: 7/10

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