The Whigs

Enjoy the Company

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A common complaint leveled against Athens, Georgia trio the Whigs is that they've been too stuck in the past, determined to re-create the glory days of grunge. They do their best to shake off these criticisms on their fourth album Enjoy the Company, leaving behind heavy, churning riffs in favor of bright, effervescent guitar pop that places melody front and center. By embracing such clear-eyed pop and spiking their hooks with horns -- they're there on the opening "Staying Alive," goosing the chorus to greater heights -- they're inviting comparisons with Spoon, and they come out quite favorably. Whenever they leaned too heavily on their guitars, the Whigs seemed slightly desperate, but by toning the volume down and lying back, they seem comfortable throughout Enjoy the Company. Certainly, this is adult alternative pop, both in its subject and tenor, but that's the appealing thing about it: the Whigs have zeroed in on their strengths and wound up with a rich, layered pop album that suggests a long, interesting future.

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