The Prom

Under the Same Stars

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The Prom truly come into their own on Under the Same Stars, a lush piano pop album that sparkles with emotion and nostalgia. Like his old friend Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, vocalist and pianist James Mendenhall knows how to pin his heart to his sleeve without sounding silly. The trio's sophomore release showcases 11 songs that suggest the timeless songwriting of vintage Elton John while evoking everything from the hushed dreams of Death Cab for Cutie ("Living in the Past") to the dark, foreboding marches of the Black Heart Procession ("[An Introduction] To Under the Same Stars"). "The City Gets Lonely," the most uplifting track on the record, is a slice of feel-good piano jauntiness -- part Billy Joel, part Grandaddy -- and the perfect climax for a great album of -- at times precious -- indie pop.

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