The Dears - Gang Of Losers
- Artist: The Dears
- Album: Gang Of Losers
- Label: Arts & Crafts
- Year of Release: 2006
- ME Rating:
- Reviewed by: MusicCritic on 2011-03-21
Largely overshadowed by the release of You Forgot It In People by Broken Social Scene was the emergence of Montreal's The Dears, whose own 2003 release, No Cities Left, remains underrated for all it did to revolutionize Canadian alternative. About two years ahead of its time, No Cities Left was a stunner - challengingly thematic and artistically dynamic, leaving you as a different person at the end than you were at the beginning. As such, Gang Of Losers is among the most anticipated releases of the fall.
Murray Lightburn's lyrics express frustration with our fraud and insincerity with how we present ourselves, the feelings of aloneness and finding community with others who feel the same way, ultimately resulting in "forgiveness of the self and the other." Musically, Gang Of Losers is a departure from No Cities Left. The new record is less dramatic; meaning, for instance, that Lightburn's vocals are more polished and controlled, but also that this is, on the surface, less of an "art record" than maybe fans will expect. Rather than featuring flourishing synthesizer swirls, falsetto vocals, and symphonies, the songs on this record, shorter, simpler and less indulgent than on its predecessor, rely more on deceptively catchy melodies, and indie rock guitar techniques and production.
The inviting musical brightness of 'Ticket To Immortality' belies its anguished lyrics, 'Whites Only Party' approaches New Pornographers degrees of pop, and the smoldering ballad 'Fear Made The World Go Round,' featuring Lightburn's best performance, is perhaps the most overtly "Dears" song in the package. Gang Of Losers is a strong effort, but No Cities Left is a tough act to follow. The band continues to mature and make quality, challenging art, but the impact of Gang Of Losers will not be as great.
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