Friday, December 31, 2010

NO NATIONS - Jets Overhead (2009)

Hearkening back to the relaxed, relatively unpretentious state of early 90s alt-rock just before Nirvana's Nevermind dropped and changed everything (I'm thinking bands like The Lemonheads, Counting Crows, Gin Blossoms, Darling Buds, Spin Doctors, Blue Aeroplanes, Smithereens etc.), and adorned with the slightest touch of contemporary shoegaze shimmer,  Jets Overhead's No Nations is as easy listening as easy listening gets.

Powered by the inviting harmonies of dual lead singers Adam Kittredge and Antonia Freybe-Smith, and buoyed by strong, meticulous pop craftsmanship, No Nations works best over its opening three tracks, particularly the introspective Weathervanes, a song so beautiful I'd give it a 10 were it not for one short, less-than-stellar vocal bridge.

The overall quality drops a touch after that, but the album still delivers solid, likable mid-tempo moments to the end.  I found the whole album thoroughly enjoyable.

That said, No Nations will be too polite and conventional for some, and lyrically, it feels as if it's constantly flirting with cliches.

If you're a child of those later 90s, looking for something with "edge," you won't find it here.

But if your taste runs to the softer side, and you're looking for something engaging and comfortable with fantastic, warm vocals,  No Nations is the album for you.

Status: Solid Recommend.

Cherry Pickers Best Bets: I Should Be Born, Heading For Nowhere, Weathervanes, It's A Funny Thing.

Here's the official video for Heading For Nowhere.

Component Breakdown:
4. No Nations - 6
5. Sure Sign - 7
7. Fully Shed - 6
Intangibles - Average to High

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