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overlord

In Soviet Russia, My Heart Breaks You

(Storm Tower; US: 1 Apr 2011; UK: Import)

Yes, I can admit that the reason I wanted to hear this album was its title. It’s probably the same reason you’re reading this. As much as that title initially seems like a ploy to get people to look at overlord’s new album, however, it actually works as an encapsulation of the contents within. The album doesn’t take itself too seriously, but there’s an undercurrent of melancholy that’s unmistakable if you listen long enough. It’s a short album, its 10 tracks coming in at under a half hour. Its first half is smart and chippy and just a little silly, while the second half settles into slightly more contemplative territory without ever coming off as mopey. Quick tempos and harmonies that evoke the Monkees more than the Beatles or the Beach Boys go surprisingly well with melancholy (if clever) lyrics like “Just as Lazarus died a second time, well, I am back to the big lie”. The band makes it impossible to take sentiments like “Nobody loves me / And if they did / They’d be making a terrible error” too seriously when they couch it in ‘60s doo-wop stylings. The juxtaposition of sunny pop with largely downcast lyrics makes it difficult to get much of a bead on overlord based on In Soviet Russia, My Heart Breaks You, but at the very least, they’ve created an interesting album that works awfully well as good-mood background music—at least, it does if you’re not listening too close.

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Mike Schiller is a software engineer in Buffalo, NY who enjoys filling the free time he finds with media of any sort -- music, movies, and lately, video games. Stepping into the role of PopMatters Multimedia editor in 2006 after having written music and game reviews for two years previous, he has renewed his passion for gaming to levels not seen since his fondly-remembered college days of ethernet-enabled dorm rooms and all-night Goldeneye marathons. His three children unconditionally approve of their father's most recent set of obsessions.


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