A Grown-Ass Man

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After a five-year hiatus, Dump came out with A Grown-Ass Man, an album of 13 tracks, including three covers (The Isley Brothers, Thin Lizzy, and a Sue Garner duet on "Once Upon a Time"). As surprised as many listeners might be at the range of covers, the diversity in the sound is even more amazing. Each song seemingly contains its own sound, crafted carefully and mixed just right to create a flow to the album, without any awkward breaks. One song takes on the sound of the Beach Boys, the next has a feeling of Depeche Mode, and yet another is reminiscent of Unwound. Throw in some Beatles here and John Mellencamp there -- and don't forget the influence of Dump's main project, Yo La Tengo -- and what comes out is an album that is sometimes edgy, other times reflective, but most of all rooted in the same intelligent pop roots that Yo La Tengo has successfully worked. While the vocals seem to strain occasionally, the musicianship is solid. The ability to make a genuine album -- and not just a collage of songs -- from a wide interest in musical styles is truly what makes this album such a delightful and great surprise. In some ways, it's like a mix tape, except it's all done by one artist. And it might be the best mix tape you've ever heard because, unlike so many of those that your friends make for you, this one actually has continuity and all the songs are pretty tight. Dump has really nailed it on A Grown-Ass Man.

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