Lit

Lit

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This eponymous set is Lit's fourth, and their most self-assured to date. After a three-year hiatus, during which they ended their relationship with RCA, the bandmembers are obviously raring to go; their self-confidence is evidenced by their decision to produce this album themselves, and they deftly emphasize their full-bodied styling while giving plenty of play to the strong melodies that set this set alight. They're even willing to hand over the crucial guitar solo on "Needle & Thread" to the Matches' Jon Devoto, who repays them with a searing performance. As listeners have come to expect of Lit, the album has a mighty sweep of mood and style, from the sweet acoustic jangle of "Lullaby," written by Jeremy Popoff for his son, to the storming '70s sound of "Too Fast for a U-Turn." The band continues to effortlessly meld together rock's many elements -- the speedy So-Cal punk heard on "Allright," the pop flavors of Elvis Costello (and by extension the Beatles) found in "Forever Begins Right Now," and the lush and lovely atmospheres of post-punk heroes the Cure via a cover of that band's "Pictures of You." Lit's continuing love affair with the sounds of the past make nonsense of the tag "modern rock," for it's their weaving together of a myriad of different yesterdays into a glorious sound for today that makes the band so special. This album does, however, feature some darker themes than previously heard, but even one of the blackest, "Bulletproof," written about a friend's suicide, shakes off the sorrow to end in an affirmation of life that simultaneously pays tribute to Cheap Trick. Back with a vengeance, this is Lit's best album to date.

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