Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Guest Review: The Weepies' Hideaway

I am in danger of being typecast. Duke's asked me to review The Weepies' new album, Hideaway, due out on April 22nd. At first, I thought, "Hey, a little folk-pop, singer-songwriter duo. Nice." Then I realized that Deb Talan and Steve Tannen, the duo behind The Weepies, are married and have a little boy.

"That bastard," I thought. "Duke gave me the middle-aged family pop album to review."

So at first, the songs sounded and felt a bit stifling to me. Too mellow. Too self-satisfied. Too damn happy. They sounded like a trip to Home Depot to look at flooring.

And then I realized I was humming along.

That's because the music is really pretty decent. Granted, it's the kind of thing you'll hear on the soundtrack to a CW series before long (The Weepies tunes have turned up on TV shows before). But that's because the melodies are catchy, the sentiments are accessible, and the harmonies, lyrics and musicianship are good enough and quirky enough to allow the tunes to stand out in your mind from the million other songs that sound similar.

Listen for the chorus to "All Good Things" behind a CW montage soon. If that were the sum of the tune, I couldn't recommend it, but the verses are interesting enough that it's worth checking out. "How You Survived the War" shows off The Weepies' complex harmonies to great effect. "All This Beauty" is very poppy, in a sunny, happy way.

But "Not Dead Yet" may be my favorite song of the lot, if for no other reason than it features an organ and a steel guitar--a little twist that works nicely. As with being married with kids (I can attest to this), those small bits of variety make all the difference.

--Scott J.


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Matthew C. said...

Excellent assement of the album, and of the band for that matter. I also have to say I was skeptical when I saw that they were married with a baby boy, but I don't know...maybe there's creativity to be found yet within a family. HA! who'd of thought.

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