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The Trolleyvox

Present the Karaoke Meltdowns

(Transit of Venus; US: 17 Oct 2006; UK: Available as import)

The Trolleyvox, a band of Philly mainstays now three albums into their power pop run, cut achingly sweet power pop with muscle and intelligence. They take their gauzy, hazy sound to the next level on this third full-length, backing Beth Dilla’s smoky-pure voice with soft jangle and taut strums. Andrew Chalfen encases his songs in dreamy, reverberating textures, letting notes melt one into another and harmonies drift towards the skies. Still, there are hard rhythms and steady beats under these cotton candy drifts, a solid rock-centric core that keeps cuts like “I Am Annabelle” from over-sweetness. There’s even a sharp political track: the short, drum-paced “Just You Wait” that castigates oil men, polluters and hypocritics to a classic college rock guitar riff. The best by cut by far, though, is hinted at in the brief intro “Preamble”, then allowed to stretch out in all its limpid gorgeousness three songs later. “I know that you’re hi-i-i-i-gh,” croons Dilla, against a shimmery bed of guitars, a summer song epiphany that goes straight to your limbic system and stays there. It’s a perfect song ... airy and infectious and utterly resistant to analysis, but if the Trolleyvox never makes another album, “I Know That You’re High,” will do just fine as a legacy.

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Tagged as: the trolleyvox
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