One of the best things about Nada Surf is their relentless yearn for a great tune; these guys hardly even have to try, and after many, many years of making music (and learning some hard life lessons) they've never sounded so tight. The Weight is a Gift is a wonderful balance of rock and pop, and blends great songwriting with sweetened guitar riffs, bass hooks, and poppy, catchy rhythms.
Almost every song here has single potential, but some standouts include "Your Legs Grow", which sounds as if they took some hints from Death Cab, the haunting and bone-chilling "Comes A Time", with mesmerizing chord changes and which has Nada Surf slowing things down to a crawl, and the closer "Imaginary Friends", which cranks it up and blasts it out with a catchy chorus, then turns it down and inches its way through a couple of minutes, then finishes it out hard and loud.
The Weight is a Gift is a long way (in a good direction) from the ultra hit "Popular" from the album High/Low around '96, which was their breakout album mainly due to the video of the aforementioned song getting major airplay on MTV (the high school where the video was filmed later sued Nada Surf because of a shower scene in which two jocks smile at each other, and demanded that Nada Surf pull the video because the principal of the school thought it was homosexual, and gave the school and bad rep). Regardless of what the principal thought of the video, he can't deny the popularity the band garnered because of it.
In a nutshell, Nada Surf takes a few risks on this album, but it pays off in spades. Emotionally, this is certainly some of their best work to date, and they continue to get better and better each and every year. Expect more brilliant things from these guys in the future.
note: Initial pressings will include bonus CD featuring four non-album recordings according to CD Universe. Release Date September 13, 2005