Various Artists

Jeans & Summer

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AllMusic Review by

Jeans & Summer is a collection put together by Swedish indie label Groover Recordings. The bands involved span the globe and include some pretty big names on the indie scene, including the Walkmen, Steven McDonald of Redd Kross, the Mood Elevator (with Brendan Benson), and Anna Waronker. The bulk of the bands are obscure, but that doesn't reflect their worth as there are some really good songs here. Apart from the Steven McDonald Group song "Get Jimmy," which is an excellent slice of glam-pop, and the track by the Natural History, the bands that carry the day have yet to make a splash on the American indie scene. Jose Gonzales impresses with hushed vocals, subdued playing, and a near-Elliott Smith feeling; Tribeca shows off a weird blend of cheesy lounge-electronica and neo-new wave vocals that is, fortunately, welded onto a winning melody; Dreamboy lives up to its name on "Thinking About Drinking," which steals Radiohead's mid-period sound and replaces Yorke's soaring vocals with cute teenage singing; and the Martial Arts' "Murry & Audree" is a peppy, E6-style tune that ends the disc on a high note. The only real problems with the disc is the wildly inappropriate inclusion of Phunky Drakes, whose bland Latin dance stylings ruin the mood of the album, and a couple of not very exciting female singers near the end of the disc. Still, it is a strong group of songs and shows that there is plenty of excitement afoot in the indie world.

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