Good Old War

Come Back as Rain

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Philly-based, indie folk rockers Good Old War's third studio outing serves up another spirited set of radio-ready, lovelorn, retro-pop gems. Part "Second Hand News"-era Fleetwood Mac and part Avett Brothers (with a little bit of Ian Matthews and Paul Simon tossed in for good measure), Come Back as Rain harkens back to the days (think mid-'70s) when tight harmonies, a pair of acoustic guitars, and some snappy production could land a band in the Top Ten. Commercial without being cloying, lyrically universal without coming off as redundant, songs like "Calling Me Names," "Better Weather," and the gorgeous ballad "Amazing Eyes" feel like they've been around for years, and their emotional resonance, especially considering the refined and polished presentation, is a testament to the group's natural pop acumen. The album's sunny and overall affable (even in the light of heartache) disposition can feel a tad slight at times, especially on the generic, folk-gospel crooner "Loud Love," but even that one gets a pass due to the expertly crafted round of harmonies that swings in near the song's second half. That said, Come Back as Rain may be the perfect summer soundtrack for listeners looking for a less cerebral Band of Horses, a more ecumenical Fleet Foxes, or just a damn fine group of musicians with a knack for kicking out youthful, country-tinged pop songs without an agenda.

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