Cass McCombs – “Opposite House” (Singles Going Steady)

From the first rippling guitar riff, Cass McCombs promises something beautiful.

Steve Horowitz: This is a very catchy and delightful song. McCombs keeps it mellow without letting the music dither into nonsense or meaning. The music just is and pleasantly drones on in a positive, if not joyful manner. What’s up with the tea cups baffles me, but it is entertaining and the title is “Opposite House” and I get the central conceit. However, the song is the star and deserves wide airplay for people listening on the highways and byways. It’s road music in the highest sense. [8/10]

Andrew Paschal: Perhaps the best thing about this song is the mood, which is, well, moody. If it weren’t for the somber, dreary, yet warm synthesizers blanketed over the production, I might have instantly forgotten “Opposite House”, perhaps even while listening to it. As it is, it reminds me a little bit of the Korgis’ “Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime”, while not exactly living up to that classic. Cass McCombs’ vocals sound a little smug to me, like he’s trying to sound cool and aloof, but the the song still seems to mostly convey what he was going for. [6/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: From the first rippling guitar riff, Cass McCombs promises something beautiful. Subtly, he delivers. Sometimes, McCombs sounds like a light city rainfall; other times, he sounds like gray skies over the desert. No matter what the setting, Angel Olsen’s voice fits, a light breeze wafting in and out of the background. It would be nice to hear a little more of her, a refreshing contrast to an often monochrome track, but McCombs still builds an enchanting world. [8/10]

Chris Ingalls: It starts out as a pretty, minor-key Elliot Smith soundalike, but once the rest of the instruments kick in, there’s a funky, ‘70s AM radio vibe that initially seems out of place. Eventually, the funky backbeat and layers of keyboards combined with the jazzy rhythm guitar provide a warm, comforting blanket. It’s also an extremely well-written, sophisticated song that’s not unlike Bibio’s latest music without all the blips and beeps. [8/10]

Michael Pementel: I would call this a step up from elevator music not as an insult, just that in the near future we may take elements of elevator music and evolve it into this. With the gentle guitar, strings, keys, and vocals it all becomes to soothing. Cass McCombs presents a simple track thats eases the listener into a serenity that doesn’t put one to sleep, but straight out is relaxing. [5/10]

Scott Zuppardo: Oakland, CA’s spacey troubadour backed by jazzy, funky breaks of synths, strings, and a guttural bass line captures an air of classic cool. Elliott Smith meets the Real Estate layered sound formula. Airy pop concentrate traipsing on adult contemporary but just enough edge to keep it grounded. The backing vocals are so cool and refreshing along with the Max Roach-esque drum play — great song and video. I want to play blow out the tea kettle. [8/10]

Paul Carr: This could have come from any time over the past 40 years with it’s timeless, understated melody. It’s a relative slow burner with some gorgeous embellishments. There is some funky, clean guitar strum, some angelic back up vocals from Angel Olsen and a groovy guitar lick. All in all this is nothing short of stunning. It could have played over the end credits of any HBO series over the past 20 years and sounded amazing. [9/10]

SCORE: 7.43