The West Coast jazz-evoking album jacket of Young the Giant's self-titled debut doesn't exactly paint an accurate picture of the California quintet's breezy modern rock sound, but it does complement it quite nicely. Here's a band signed to a heavy metal label, whose music is anything but, and which actually excels through recurring shows of subtlety, not force. That's not to say Young the Giant don't know how to rock; tracks like "My Body," "Garands," and "St. Walker" plug the guitars in and crank them up to that "tough but hooky" sweet spot inhabited by the Kings of Leon and sometimes even My Morning Jacket (whose producer, Bo Koster, adds keyboards to several cuts here). But it's dreamier fare like opener "Apartment," "Guns Out," and the vaguely Hawaiian "Strings" that really pricks the ears like Fleet Foxes-lite (or may Nada Surf 2.0): all soothing murmurs and sumptuous warm melodies -- minus about a million multi-tracked parts. The band really only gets into trouble when "I Got," "Cough Syrup," and a few other tunes float dangerously close to the Coldplay clouds, saving face only by the skin of their teeth. (Another track, "Your Side," has nothing but guest keyboards from Jellyfish alum Roger Manning Jr. to recommend it.) Nevertheless, there's an unquestionably seductive flow about Young the Giant's debut that's sure to lure in many wandering postmodern rock children, looking for alternatives beyond the same old blockbuster bands name-checked above.
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AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia