You Am I

Dress Me Slowly

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Subtly toned down, yet still spunky with its clever lyrics and pure guitar pop, Dress Me Slowly isn't much of a departure from You Am I's career-long mastery of an almost-lost pop/rock form. Singer/guitarist/songwriter Tim Rogers presents his slightly more serious material with all the verve and personality fans should expect. Maybe it's just that the newness has worn off, but at times Dress Me Slowly seems drawn away from certain personal intangibles that are as critical to Rogers' style as they are impossible to describe -- how an artist can be so sincere and smart-mouthed simultaneously. Just when listeners might feel too much distance has passed between them and Sound as Ever, Rogers drops a classic crooner like "Damage" and all is well with Dress Me Slowly. Guitar pop and rock & roll are often shaded toward the impersonal or monochromatic, yet it's obvious that Rogers is feeling something deeply throughout this 2001 release; frustration, vulnerability, impatience -- it's all there, especially as evidenced by the more-frequent balladry of Dress Me Slowly. You Am I didn't become Australia's finest '90s rock export by compromising or holding anything back, and this 2001 release holds form, doing nothing to bring the group's artistic reputation into question. Perhaps more thoughtful and yearning than earlier material, yet still confident and brassy, Dress Me Slowly is another classic from a stunningly underappreciated band.

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