Falling Up


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Ten years from now, when the current vogue for smartypants non sequitur song titles has passed, everyone will look back on songs called "The Dark Side of Indoor Track Meets" and "How They Made Cameras" and shake their heads in mild embarrassment. What will remain, and what will determine whether the next generation decides the music of the early 21st century is worth reviving, are the hooks -- if there are any. Falling Up know about revival, and know about hooks, and on their third album of new material the trio neatly combines timeless big-guitar rock with backward-looking analog synth sounds and blissfully tight harmonies. Not every melody is indelibly memorable, but more than one will likely touch your singalong nerve: "Goodnight Gravity" and "Maps" are both particularly pretty, and if the bittersweet strings on the latter are synthetic, you'll never be able to tell on your iPod. "How They Made Cameras" opens with a guitar sound that would have made Asia proud and swings along in a slow 6/8 time that only becomes slightly queasy as the song progresses; "Good Morning Planetarium" is built on nicely squidgy synth that suddenly gives way to big, crunchy guitars. The lyrics are devout, but not in a way that's likely to alienate anyone except the most hypersensitive nonbelievers. Recommended.

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