Weak

Weak

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Antony Widoff, who records nearly orchestral one-man-band pop under the name Weak, is oddly reminiscent of an earlier D.I.Y. orchestral pop contender, Ultra Vivid Scene's Kurt Ralske, with two notable exceptions: he doesn't drown his music in Cocteau Twins-style reverb and he's not an insufferably pretentious git. Make no mistake, Widoff is a little pretentious -- the lyrics evoke the occasional eye roll and he sometimes equates a straining falsetto vocal with "passion" -- but mostly in a good way, and most of Weak is hugely entertaining. Widoff makes a point to throw as many changeups into his arrangements as he possibly can, with the result that "What Brought Us Together" has the gimmicky charm of a mid-'80s Cure or Siouxsie & the Banshees single, complete with vibraphone fills, finger clicks, and a swinging eighth-note beat constructed out of what sounds like the wheezing of a dying air conditioner, and right after that, the haunting, crystalline "Alice Said" sets one of the album's most emotional lyrics to a simple synthesizer melody that has the direct-hit heartbreak of a classic John Cale ballad. He even covers the immortal "Here, There and Everywhere" without looking like a complete idiot in the attempt. Weak is the sort of album that takes a couple of listens to fully sink in, but time spent with it is paid back with dividends.

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