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The New Rags

Take Jennie to Brooklyn

(Silent Stereo; US: 1 May 2007; UK: Unavailable)

Within virtually any literature one would read about the New Rags, they mention ragtime as an influence.  But, listening to Take Jennie to Brooklyn, that seems like a bit of a ruse.  And really how much ragtime influences this EP doesn’t matter; it is solid, accessible pop music.  “Surf Seven Seas” is a great, grimy take on surf rock that gets stuck in your head.  Opener “Your Room” shows off the band’s ability to make the keys as percussive as the drums on every track.  And “It’s Over”—which, at four minutes plus is an epic compared to the other five tracks—is piano-pop bliss.  The New Rags show an ability here to vary their style without losing their energy.  And while I am not sure I can hear a ton of ragtime seeping into this EP, it is still engaging all the way though.  The band might do better to drop the ragtime tag as an “alternative” marketing ploy, and keep churning out straight pop this good.

Rating:

Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


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