Lux Courageous

Reasons That Keep the Ground Near

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Lux Courageous start this record off with the melodic-meets-punk emo style of bands like Jimmy Eat World and Taking Back Sunday, but they rarely utter their lyrics in banshee-like wails. The opening tune, "Concrete (Broadway)," has a lot in common with the Exies, and recalls "Boys of Summer" with its very radio-friendly and decent hook. "Wearing Dangerous" falls in line with highbrow pop bands like Gin Blossoms and Odds if they were channeled through Something Corporate with their subtle keyboard accents. The duo of guitarist/vocalists Adam LoPorto and PJ Tepe maintain this momentum on the infectious and somewhat bombastic "Safe at Last," the song having a great chorus and an even better bridge. "Irresistible" doesn't work as well, as the melody is somewhat downbeat, somber, and perhaps too formulaic despite the slight tempo shift near the home stretch. When they find their niche, Lux Courageous are extremely strong, especially on the lovely midtempo jaunt of "Ambulance" that carries the song throughout. Perhaps the highlight is the infectious neo-Petty-cum-Replacements flair of "Everything You Wanted," which hits the ground running full-throttle. They revisit this style again during "Prayer from the Priest," sort of a new take on "American Girl." The strength of the album is how they keep these fine arrangements consistent but attack each song with a different, catchy result, including on the swaying centerpiece, "Seatbelts Are Saviors," as the vocalists alternate the lyrics. Near the end of the album the group's songs diminish in quality, as proven by the filler-like feeling one gets listening to "Battles." But the melancholic aftereffect of "What a Place to Find One's Divinity" is very pleasing. Overall, though, it's a very engaging, catchy pop find.

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