We Are Scientists

TV en Français

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Picking up where 2010's Barbara left off, We Are Scientists' fifth studio album, 2014's TV en Français, is a refreshing blast of power that finds the band further exploring their own brand of melodic guitar-based songcraft. If Barbara saw the duo of Keith Murray and Chris Cain moving ever so slightly away from their previous frenetic take on '80s post-punk and toward a more harmony-driven style, then TV en Français is an even more classicist pop record. Perhaps it was the departure of drummer Michael Tapper in 2007, or a maturing desire to explore different aspects of songwriting, but We Are Scientists have delved deeply on TV en Français into the kind of pure, exuberant songwriting that brings to mind such stalwarts of the genre as Teenage Fanclub, Sloan, and Fountains of Wayne. Tracks like the yearning "Don't Blow It" and the blown-out "Sprinkles" showcase the group's knack for bright, harmony-laden melodies and big, anthemic choruses that you catch yourself humming after a single listen. Elsewhere, cuts like "Overreacting" and the driving, fuzz-laden "Slow Down" bring to mind the shoegaze and noise-pop sounds of bands like Ride and Slowdive. However, nothing expresses how much the band has grown as songwriters as the shimmering, uber-romantic "Make It Easy." Charming from the get-go, the tune tugs at you with its cleverly joyous and celebratory lyrics about finding the love of your life while simultaneously blowing the doors off musically, combining all of the band's influences into one immediately catchy, hook-laden song. Just as the lyrics say, "You make it easy, and it should be easy," We Are Scientists make writing infectious, utterly listenable pop songs, over and over again, seem easy.

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