Balsa Gliders

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Charming is an adjective that is thrown around entirely too much in relation to music, but there isn't a better term to describe the Balsa Gliders. Between their melodic pop/rock, clever lyrics and deadpan delivery, this is one band that worms its way into your brain even on their weakest material. Their music is best described as a cross between the simple pop of Julianna Hatfield and the naïve-yet-clever attitude of the Jayhawks. As far as the songs, "Ken Scholl Would Go" is probably the best track here. With its innocent view of going to indie rock shows as told by an observer, it pays tribute to bands like Superchunk and Yo La Tengo, both through the lyrics and the sound. "Backwards" is a gentle lament on how unfair it is to ask the same guy to the same dance two years in a row, while "Armrest" is like Soft Bulletin-era Flaming Lips with all the psychedelic touches stripped away. Honestly, if the first song wins you over than the rest is like quicksand -- it'll suck you in and surround you despite any struggle. Fans of this brand of wide-eyed, innocent pop music should hunt down this album. Few albums in 2001 can compete with the simplistic approach of the Balsa Gliders, and hopefully this isn't the last thing from these bright talents.

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