David Bazan

Fewer Moving Parts

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As a member of Pedro the Lion, David Bazan was responsible for some very stellar tunes. Now under his own name, Bazan creates more of the same for Fewer Moving Parts, beginning with the poppy "Selling Advertising" that sounds like a cross between Ron Sexsmith and Adam Duritz from Counting Crows. It's a soft but rich, lovable pop tune that glides along without any problems. Just as infectious is the harder sounding and slightly edgier power pop of "How I Remember," which relies on a great riff and a straightforward blueprint to give it great appeal. The album, which is split between five electric versions of songs and then five acoustic versions running in the same order, is perhaps highlighted by the tender "Fewer Broken Pieces" which is downplayed to great effect. "Man I could have had a big sound/But I love to let my friends down," Bazan sings as if he knows less is more here. He opts for a quirky, winding keyboard-cum-electro flavor for "Cold Beer and Cigarettes," the truly adventurous track of the five presented. The Neil Young-ish "Backwoods Nation," which has definite political themes, is the first song where one can see just where Bazan would go with it acoustically. The acoustic versions are naturally slower, gentler affairs that have ample flow, especially the soothing "Selling Advertising," despite the lyrical content. "How I Remember" is acoustically strong, but lacks that oomph or bite the electric version has in spades. Bazan does lend some sweet harmonies to the track however.

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