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The Picture


(Lovely Recordings; US: 2006)

The most conventional rock albums may be the most difficult to write a coherent review about: Brooklyn-based the Picture’s debut LP, Connect, has nothing much to recommend it, but it’s hardly MOR enough to be justly lambasted. You’ll hear the words ‘layered’ and ‘smooth’ applied to their sound, and I guess that more or less does the trick—but ‘smooth’ just means melodic lines that hardly stray from stepwise up-and-down motion, ‘layered’ that these melodies are repeated enough times to get stuck in your head. Solid production gives a heft the fragments of songs don’t hold innately (they’re more riffs on ideas than completely worked out pieces): “Sellout” repeats its Interpol-like chorus once too often, while “So Many Days” and “Faceless” feel written by numbers. You could listen to half the song, and easily predict how it’s going to end. “Blind Side”, the lead single, may be the most successful song on Connect, and in general the more upbeat numbers bring a dance-rock vibe that is at least authentic. But in general, the band’s got a way to go before anyone’s really going to pay much attention to their conventional indie guitars.


Dan Raper has been writing about music for PopMatters since 2005. Prior to that he did the same thing for his college newspaper and for his school newspaper before that. Of course he also writes fiction, though his only published work is entitled "Gamma-secretase exists on the plasma membrane as an intact complex that accepts substrates and effects intramembrane cleavage". He is currently studying medicine at the University of Sydney, Australia.

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