With a sound that veers from the acoustic simplicity and poetic lyricism of coffeehouse folk to the bouncy, lo-fi infectiousness of D.I.Y. indie pop, this California quartet writes melodies so damn catchy, you might almost think you've heard them before. Songs like "Go Ahead" and "Bulletproof" showcase the band's most distinctive asset -- the sweet vocals and bittersweet lyrics of Jenny Lewis -- while the breezy hooks and driving beats of tunes like "Wires and Waves" and "Always" show surprising commercial potential. The 13-song album has a few weak spots -- guitarist Blake Sennett's cracking vocals make him sound like Elliott Smith's nervous kid brother on "Small Figures in a Vast Expanse," while a few of the down-tempo songs slow the album's momentum -- but stronger numbers like the gorgeous horn-laden waltz of "Don't Deconstruct" are the sound of a young band coming into its own.
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AllMusic Review by Bret Love