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+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
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+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
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No Danger
Say Hey

Just the other day I decided I am going to go back to listening to music like I used to: no media-made expectations, no overly detailed judgments, no unnecessary dissections. I either like it or I don't. I either stick it in my Walkman for my walk to work or I don't. I either keep it or I don't. I'm gonna keep No Danger. I like it. I'll listen to it in my Walkman, but probably only on my way home from work when I need to wind down, not up, like on those bitter-'cause-it's-too-early-for-this walks in the a.m., where I much prefer something more upbeat like The Clash 'cause it tricks me into believing it's actually going to be a good day at the office (right).

No Danger's not good enough to pull tricks like that, but it's nice, I like it. I'm not drop-dead in love with it, but, hey, I don't need to be so picky, do I? I'm not a critic or a historian, just a music lover who understands not every album in your collection can be an OK Computer or a Doolittle. And that weekends can't be seven days long 'cause without Tuesdays there'd be no Saturdays. We need Tuesdays, we need No Danger. We can't have pounding hearts, throat lumps and sweaty palms all the time. Sometimes we just need to sit back and enjoy the view while listening to quietly emotional and beautifully arranged albums like No Danger. This isn't sweet and slow enough for Sunday or sluggish and sorrowful enough for Monday. This is just upbeat enough for Tuesday.

The first thing you'll think when you hear the opening jangly guitar lines and vibrato whine on lead track "What I Want" is "indie rock." And I suppose there's nothing wrong with that except that the term has been so diluted over the past year or so it's hard to determine what it means. Let's just say nowadays we got indie rock that's full of heart and indie rock that's full of shit. So please note Inouk are not of the latter.

Throughout the next few tracks, Inouk prove they put a lot of heart (and work) into No Danger, developing relatively complex arrangements of instruments and noise to come out with textured and impassioned sounds that take you wherever they go, awaking that lump in your throat, making you feel something every now and then, the way a fond memory can, or a good film. Dreamy songs like "Father's House" and "Island" steal you away with melodies that don't exactly send you into a trance, but do stir you up a bit.

"Somewhere in France" is unquestionably the album's best and most touching track for its earnest building rhythms, trickling riffs and plaintive, intimate lead vocals. If No Danger was all "Somewhere in France," it would doubtlessly move up to a Friday, possibly a Saturday, record. But it's not, and, hey, I like it anyway. I really do.

by Jenny Tatone

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