Librarians’ second album deftly combines danceable, slightly funky beats with touches of psychedelia. It’s a winning combination that results in songs that have both memorable grooves and more spacey moments. “Wait and See” encapsulates this style, starting with a simple kick drum-and-cymbal beat and a high-pitched, reverb-soaked guitar while Ryan Hizer and Trey Curtis sing “Wait and see / Have some patience with me, please / I’m sorry if you grow a little tired”. After sitting on this drum-and-guitar figure for two minutes, a new guitar line pops up in the final minute to give the song a countermelody.
“Hard to Unwind” finds the band playing with more urgency, with a thumping drumbeat accompanied by nonstop sleigh bells and driving bass guitar. The repeated refrain “Our good times / Became hard times / Now we find / It’s hard to unwind” is a great hook, and the band leans on it effectively. “Hard to Unwind” is a bit of an unusual song on the album, though, because most of Present Passed gives the impression of being laid-back. Librarians’ songs go down easy, but there is strong songwriting behind the beats and oddball touches. It makes Present Passed stick with the listener after the album ends.
- Multiple songs MySpace
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.
// Notes from the Road
"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.READ the article