Music

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

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Music

Dancing in the Street: Our 25 Favorite Motown Singles

Detroit's Motown Records will forever be important as both a hit factory and an African American-owned label that achieved massive mainstream success and influence. We select our 25 favorite singles from the "Sound of Young America".

Music

The Durutti Column's 'Vini Reilly' Is the Post-Punk's Band's Definitive Statement

Mancunian guitarist/texturalist Vini Reilly parlayed the momentum from his famous Morrissey collaboration into an essential, definitive statement for the Durutti Column.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

What Will Come? COVID-19 and the Politics of Economic Depression

The financial crash of 2008-2010 reemphasized that traumatic economic shifts drive political change, so what might we imagine — or fear — will emerge from the COVID-19 depression?

Music

Datura4 Take Us Down the "West Coast Highway Cosmic" (premiere)

Australia's Datura4 deliver a highway anthem for a new generation with "West Coast Highway Cosmic". Take a trip without leaving the couch.

Music

Teddy Thompson Sings About Love on 'Heartbreaker Please'

Teddy Thompson's Heartbreaker Please raises one's spirits by accepting the end as a new beginning. He's re-joining the world and out looking for love.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Little Protests Everywhere

Wherever you are, let's invite our neighbors not to look away from police violence against African Americans and others. Let's encourage them not to forget about George Floyd and so many before him.

Music

Carey Mercer's New Band Soft Plastics Score Big with Debut '5 Dreams'

Two years after Frog Eyes dissolved, Carey Mercer is back with a new band, Soft Plastics. 5 Dreams and Mercer's surreal sense of incongruity should be welcomed with open arms and open ears.

Music

Sondre Lerche Rewards 'Patience' with Clever and Sophisticated Indie Pop

Patience joins its predecessors, Please and Pleasure, to form a loose trilogy that stands as the finest work of Sondre Lerche's career.

Film

Ruben Fleischer's 'Venom' Has No Bite

Ruben Fleischer's toothless antihero film, Venom is like a blockbuster from 15 years earlier: one-dimensional, loose plot, inconsistent tone, and packaged in the least-offensive, most mass appeal way possible. Sigh.

Books

Cordelia Strube's 'Misconduct of the Heart' Palpitates with Dysfunction

Cordelia Strube's 11th novel, Misconduct of the Heart, depicts trauma survivors in a form that's compelling but difficult to digest.

Music

Reaching For the Vibe: Sonic Boom Fears for the Planet on 'All Things Being Equal'

Sonic Boom is Peter Kember, a veteran of 1980s indie space rockers Spacemen 3, as well as Spectrum, E.A.R., and a whole bunch of other fascinating stuff. On his first solo album in 30 years, he urges us all to take our foot off the gas pedal.

Film

Old British Films, Boring? Pshaw!

The passage of time tends to make old films more interesting, such as these seven films of the late '40s and '50s from British directors John Boulting, Carol Reed, David Lean, Anthony Kimmins, Charles Frend, Guy Hamilton, and Leslie Norman.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.