It’s hard to be an Idiot. Spring Is Here is the second album from the Canadian electro-pop troubadours, and their first new release since (get this) 1999 when they released their debut, Evel Knievel. What’s happened since then? Mates of State and the Postal Service have come along, so it’s easy to pin the Idiots! as professional rehashes when, in fact, they got that emotion-through-keyboards thing down first. Yet, Mates and Postal do it better. Budget limitations aside, songs like “Lies and Secrets” and “The Visit” can be either too shouty or cheesy (respectively). The album can get a little same-sounding the further you dig in, but there are also some genuine pop gems lying about, including the spectacular “Tap on the Shoulder”, which shows vocalist Roey Shemesh holding back and creating a song that’s genuinely and profoundly affecting. There’s a lot of room to improve, but a lot of good stuff as well. Hopefully the wait for the next round won’t be another seven years.
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// Notes from the Road
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