Interventions and Lullabies

The Format

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Interventions and Lullabies Review

by John D. Luerssen

After an EP on Jim Adkins' Western Tread label in early 2003, Arizona's the Format jumped to Elektra for Interventions and Lullabies, an album of accessible and often charming modern rock. The appropriately titled, airwave-ready "The First Single (You Know Me)" gets things off on the right foot, with a sugary, anthemic chorus propelled by chiming acoustic and electric guitars. While there are several enchanting, mellow moments, including the breathtaking, string-touched "On Your Porch," and "Give It Up," the pair's commercial aspirations on a ballad like "Tune Out" have singer Nate Ruess and multi-instrumentalist Sam Means coming closer to Goo Goo Dolls-like anonymity than any credible outfit should be comfortable with. That said, the majority of the time the Format sound pretty darn original, hopping from the waltzing, banjo-touched "A Mess to Be Made" to the punchy energy of "Sore Thumb" with great ease.

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