Like 2000's live LP, In Case You Didn't Feel Like Plugging In, this EP finds the Posies in an acoustic bent. Like a second helping of "Posies MTV Unplugged" -- only this time it's new material -- Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow's songs and harmonies are strong enough to carry the more barebones, basic approach. When they sing "It's getting way too easy" on "Chainsmoking in the U.S.A." with a pretty piano plinking away behind them, it does seem almost too elementary for these guys -- except that the '60s power pop hooks that have served them so well still work fine, even without louder backing. And who wouldn't consider such a nice cover of David Crosby's lost Byrds gem "Lady Friend" (an overwhelming reason to buy the Byrds' box set) anything but a treat? Take it from us, old Crosby never wrote a more affecting song in the '60s this side of "Everybody's Been Burned," and it's just the sort of amazing, prime Byrds-esque harmony the Posies excel at. Now, boys, how about cranking up these dormant amps of yours one more time for us? This quiet little gift is way, way better than nothing, and a tide-me-over is very considerate of you. But you know what our hearts ultimately crave.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jack Rabid