They say that bigger is usually better, and these Lovers are no exception. This band has set off an underground buzz on the Internet. How I Learned to Stop Worrying is a rock ‘n’ roll recording with melody, highlighted by glistening guitar flourishes and majestic, cavernous, overall sounds. It’s pop. Yes, it’s even powerful pop. But what it is, most of all, is just a really strong, melodic rock recording, a rare thing nowadays.
I’ll start with my favorite track and work back. “Casual Friday” is one of the best songs of the year. The opening guitar riff, followed by cascading, tuned down drums, followed by weepy slide/pedal steel guitars, creates a moment that defines the recording: it is trippy, majestic, powerful, intense and melodically compact all at the same time. You connect the dots as to what bands did that well. I’ll save myself the time and suggest that the band’s name began with a B, and they sold lots of records.
“I’m Here” is a standout track for its loping, marching melody. “Change Your Mind” has beautiful harmonies on the chorus, a chorus that is kind of unexpected in a good way. “Forever Is Not So Long” has a great hook, again, at the chorus.
The problem faced by a band like The Bigger Lovers is that they inevitably will be compared to bands like Big Star, The Beatles and others of that ilk. One band that they really sound like is Velvet Crush. It is a blessing and curse to be lumped in with these bands in this age where rock ‘n’ roll is defined by the style of Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit and others.
I’m convinced that there is a place for bands like The Bigger Lovers. The scouting report on the live show is that they are a great live rock ‘n’ roll band. These guys tour, play the clubs and, apparently, it shows.
The greatest thing that can be said about this recording is that I have seen at least three or four mentions of this recording by critics who “know” on the Internet. Everybody loves this recording. So, you don’t have to just take my word for it.
The Bigger Lovers’ How I Learned to Stop Worrying will be on many Top Ten lists for 2001. Check it out.
// Notes from the Road
"José González's sets during Newport Folk Festival weren't on his birthday (that is today) but each looked to be a special intimate performance.READ the article