Quasi is something of a pre-supergroup -- in 1998, both of its members received huge press attention with other projects (Sam Coomes with Built to Spill and Janet Weiss with Sleater-Kinney.) On Early Recordings, the two stay firmly on the American side of the '60s pop map, using a tight combination of drums, guitars and primitive synths along with production that strictly avoids the smoothed-over density of most contemporary recordings. Not only is the sound excellent -- a sort of lo-fi approach using hi-fi techniques -- the songwriting is brilliant enough to make it worthwhile, tripping though Elephant 6-ish retro-pop and thoroughly Northwestern indie rock constructions. The result is thoroughly inventive, but incredibly familiar as well -- it's as if Quasi has taken all of pop's commonplaces and turned them a few degrees in a new direction.
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AllMusic Review by Nitsuh Abebe