The fourth long-player from the gutsy roots rockers-turned arena-ready alt-pop spellcasters, Into the Wide offers up a more cohesive set of Americana-kissed electro-pop anthems than its strangely inert, eponymous 2012 predecessor did, invoking names like Coldplay, Elbow, the Killers, and even Electric Light Orchestra in the process. The latter looms large on the cavernous opener "Push It," a grandiose and soulful rumination on American exceptionalism (both the good and the bad) that sounds like it was pulled out of Jeff Lynne's dreaming head circa 1977 and then buffed and refurbished for the MP3 age. It's a bold and beautiful opening volley that makes the rest of the songs have to work a little bit harder to get the listener's attention, but multiple spins ultimately reveal a complete package. The propulsive "From Now On" is about as meaty as Into the Wide gets, skillfully pairing the thunderous, yet melancholy open road desperation of the National with a Soft Bulletin-era Flaming Lips guitar lead that yields to a fist-pumping chorus, and the dreamy "Take Shelter" and "Hold My End Up," with their icy synths and cathedral reverb, give off a big late-'80s AOR rock vibe that works far better than it should, due in large part to the band's clever (and subtle) arrangements and Matt Vasquez's commanding vocal prowess. Delta Spirit's commercial aspirations may be more apparent this time around, but they've done an awfully nice job in pairing that inclination with material that benefits from the slick production, resulting in their most cohesive (and television- and film-ready) collection of songs to date.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger