The debut album from Steve Bays and Parker Bossley's collaboration Fur Trade, Don't Get Heavy reaches beyond Bays' new wave-tinged pop with his other band Hot Hot Heat and former HHH member Bossley's work with the Gay Nineties. Psychedelic and electronic influences as well as good old yacht rock inform these songs, and along with the different perspectives each songwriter brings to the table, Don't Get Heavy offers almost too many possibilities. Of course, Bays' voice and songwriting would be unmistakable no matter what kind of sounds surround him, and his tracks range from the very Hot Hot Heat dance-punk of "Burning the Locals" to the convincingly suave "Same Temptation," which finds him paying homage to "Steppin' Out"-era Joe Jackson instead of Look Sharp! Though his songs can be clever and catchy almost to a fault, tracks such as the spiky "Kids These Days" and "Can You Dig It? (Yes I Can)" stay on the right side of that line. Bossley, meanwhile, has a lighter, more flowing approach that contrasts nicely with Bays' choppy hooks. His songs are breezy in the best sense of the word, whether he's painting a picture of how good a life together could be on "Our Life Starts Now" or a blasé breakup on the album's haunting title track. While the album sags a little in the middle, Don't Get Heavy's best moments are as entertaining as the work Bossley and Bays do with their other projects.
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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares