Connections: Body Language

[2 December 2013]

By Matthew Fiander

PopMatters Associate Music Editor

Let’s get this out of the way: there’s this other band that made lo-fi rock songs. That’s about as much as you can compare them to fellow Ohio band Connections. That other band posited itself as a group of pop elder statesmen from jump, but Connections is a scrappier outfit, eschewing timelessness for a vital, fleeting youth, for the awkward transition when partying hard becomes, maybe, partying too much. There’s surely a zealous pulse to all of this, from the lean desperation of “Aimless” to the bouncy jangle of “Jeni and Johnny” to the spacious moods of closer “Florida, Vegas, Tahoe”, but there’s a pall just barely there, something that’s not quite regret but could be soon.

And therein lies what’s so great about Body Language. It is on its face a carefree batch of endlessly tuneful rock songs, but cracks in that veneer—the “last night”, the “bump and scrape”—show there’s far more at stake here than you think. For all the shifting here, all the discomfort and transition, the band feels even more grounded, even more confident than they did with their first excellent record of 2013, Private Airplane. Body Language may be about mysteries of growing up, but there’s nothing mysterious about the way this band’s songwriting and sound have matured. That growing up already happened, and in just a few months.

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