** (2.5 out of 5 stars)
After having just gushed over the new Lavender Diamond album, I feel like a bastard for what I’m about to say regarding this new Sea And Cake jammer. It blows. Sure, it’s literate, sophisticated pop music. Yes, it’s driving, intelligent, airy, et cetera… It is everything one would expect from a Sea And Cake album, but—wow—it is inexplicably boring.
According to the band, this is “the most straight-ahead, even ‘rootsy’ record they’ve ever made. Au contraire! Everybody is music for “used to be punkers but now we wear ribbed turtlenecks and own lofts in Wicker Park Yindie hipsters. Those are the only people in the entire world who will find this even remotely interesting. Well, and maybe a few Parisians. Apart from the closing track “Transparent, this is the sonic equivalent to watching paint dry. If you want to hear what The Sea And Cake sound like at their most awesome, get The Fawn. It rules.—Arlie Carstens