The Wrong Words

Everything Is Free

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The Wrong Words' second album, Everything Is Free, has the bouncy power pop of their excellent self-titled debut lodged deep in its rocking core, but they build on it and takes their sound in some new directions. Once you get past the jumpy uptempo tracks like "And It's Not So Pretty," "Where Am I Now?," and "The Sting," which sound like someone covering 20/20 or Dwight Twilley singles at double speed, the arrangements take some left turns and the Wrong Words drop in songs with subtle country-rock influences, croon through a string-soaked midtempo track ("Say Something"), and fill in the classic guitar-bass-drums trio sound with horns, keys, and other crafty little touches. It's a perfect approach to take on a second album, showing just enough musical curiosity on their part to allow them to grow a little and deepen their impact both emotionally and musically, without losing the best parts of their sound. In this case that would be careening energy, songs with razor-sharp hooks, and the almost clairvoyant interplay between the three bandmembers. You could add Josh Miller's sloppy and rambunctious vocal style to that list too -- he has a way of romping through a song that's always lots of fun. This time out, he shows he can dial it back and sound just as good. The Wrong Words do all the right things on Everything Is Free -- it's an album lovers of classic power pop should embrace and fans of modern power pop will fall head over heels for right away.

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