To Boys Who Say No

Girls Say Yes

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To Boys Who Say No Review

by Richie Unterberger

Like many a paisley pop band -- hey, they put this out on the Paisley Pop label, so they'd better be prepared to be branded with the label themselves -- Girls Say Yes boasts a stew of influences. There's 1960s psychedelia and folk-rock, of course, but also girl groups (felt mostly in the backup vocals), ringing Byrds/R.E.M. guitars, Lou Reed, soul, and even cheesy 1980s synth pop. There's nothing wrong with that; just don't steel yourself for anything that will shift your axis of being. The songs embrace a similarly mixed clutch of themes: psychic displacement, spaced-out psychedelic musing, alienated loneliness, and cranky carps at the institution of marriage. It's the psychedelic-isms and the Lou Reed-isms that work best, like "Another Life," with its late-'60s psychedelic Brit-pop trimmings of underwater vocals and backward guitars; "You're Coming Down," which has something of the feeling of early-'70s Pink Floyd, but with female vocals; and "Wonder Guy," which matches shaky Reed-esque singing to folk-rockin' guitars.

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