Miles

Structure Vs. Happiness

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For many music fans, Germany is known as the place of origin for abrasive acts like Rammstein and Atari Teenage Riot or the cold synth pop of Kraftwerk. So it's surprising, to say the least, that a jubilant power pop trio like Miles is from the same region (although vocalist/guitarist Tobias Kuhn grew up in England). Its third record and first U.S. release (as well as only the second for the Feel label) is a collection of selected tracks from the first two albums, and it's certainly a nice, polished introduction to the group's carefree melodies. Handclaps, wonderful vocal harmonies, and happy guitar riffs are the norm for songs such as "We Need More Close-Ups" and the cutesy "Astronaut Without a Cause." By the end of the album, however, the band allows some deeper emotion to seep through on the down-tempo "Grasshopper's Gone." And while the record's title suggests a competition, Miles has both structure and happiness well covered, displaying strong songwriting and oodles of optimistic potential.

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