Mates of State's Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel opted to give up their day jobs in their native Lawrence, KS, for the rock & roll hills of California in order to make music their life. What an ambitious move. While spending most of 2001 on the road with the Anniversary and Beulah, the duo crafted what would become some of their most delightful pop songs. A stunning follow-up to 2000's My Solo Project, Our Constant Concern includes Mates of State's sugary pop hooks inside whimsical synth loops for ten indie love songs that breathe a life of their own. Bright-eyed Gardner isn't shameful of being in love. Neither is her musical mate and real-life companion, Hammel, and both frolic with deep lyrical conversations. Their harmonies are young but charming. Gardner's songs, like "Halves and Have-nots" and "Girls Singing," twinkle organ tones. "Quit Doin' It" stomps around with a sassy manner and indie rock stylings showcase what a perfect fit Mates of State really are. Their relationship is their musical storybook and Our Constant Concern playfully suggests that love can really be beautiful.
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AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson