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+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
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+ Cex - Actual Fucking
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+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
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+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
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+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
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+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
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44.1 kHz Archive

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The Jealous Sound
Kill Them With Kindness
Better Looking

Jealousy is ugly, wouldn't you say? This here is certainly not the sound of jealousy. It's so sparkling clean you can see your reflection in it. It's no wonder the Jealous Sound have recently been slated to open for the Foo Fighters — the lovely glistening pop oozing from their new album, Kill Them With Kindness, is so radio-ready it oughta make all the MTV/FM-wannabes jealous, no joke. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes that can simply mean a band has managed to leap some hurdles other bands or artists trip on — not that they're money-hungry sell-outs.

This band's playing is so tight you wonder if the members aren't cogs in a machine. Production is so crisp it echoes and rings through the eardrums, and melodies are so perfectly emotive they latch right onto your brain and open the door to let the endorphins out. Lead singer/guitarist Blair Shehan croons like an indie-rock pro, massaging your lobes gently as he seduces you sweetly. Delicate instrumental arrangements stream together like the lights of night traffic, flowing swiftly, electrified by the colorings of crunching, jangly riffs and stadium-ready drumming.

There is a sense of optimism and hopefulness, even spirituality. "It feels so good to feel/ There's nothing here that's real/ For once in your life," Shehan coos softly on "Abandon! Abandon!" "...Did you find something deeper?/ Something profound?/ Is the sun coming up?/ As we're coming down?"

Opening with whispered speak-singing and a tickling chord on repeat, "Anxious Arms" captures all the elements of pop perfection: sugary inflection, suspenseful build-ups, swinging beats and a topic we can all relate to: love (for better or worse). "They're waiting for wings to form/ They're waiting for clouds to form/ For safety," he sings airily.

Probably the grittiest of Kill Them With Kindness (which isn't all that gritty) is "The Gift Horse" for its heavy guitar line and crashing instrumentation, while album closer "Above the Waves" is of the most fragile for its lump-in-the-throat vocalizing and down-on-my-knees desperation. "The more I dream/ The less I want to sleep," he sings delicately. "...You say you don't want to live/ Is there nothing I can give/ To help you sleep tonight."

If Kill Them With Kindness resembles the sound of jealousy at all, it's only for the jealousy it may evoke from other aspiring indie-popsters.

by Jenny Tatone

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