Kind of Like Spitting

Old Moon in the Arms of the New

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Kind of Like Spitting's man behind the curtain, Ben Barnett, can write wistful, fiercely emotional tunes like nobody's business. And one would be hard-pressed to find a more gorgeous tracks from the year 2000 than the ill-titled "Dostoyevsky Gets Mugged Outside a Donut Shop in New Jersey" or the bouncing indie pop of "Boy Cries Wolf." These fine efforts indicate an artist who can wring pure melody out of the most heart-wrenching of themes. Too bad, then, that Barnett's melodic, emotional muse gets bogged down in slow emo balladry at times. At these moments, one can almost picture Barnett as the fragile talent trying to please a hipster crowd (though even then his melodic sensibilities often crest above the sluggish anti-rock statements). He should lose those friends, for the brightest moments on this album are so pure, they're almost blinding.

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