Straylight Run - The Needles the Space Review
by Scott Frazier
After Straylight Run's strong and influential 2004 debut, "The Needles the Space" is a disappointing new outing.
The album shows Straylight eschewing the pretty piano pop that made a thousand emo bands change their tunes in favor of a more "grand ol' opry" approach. That's not to say you'll hear Big and Rich style cowboy anthems (a truly frightening concept), but the band has clearly been listening to a little too much Jenny Lewis. Michelle DeRosa, who had only a few lead vocals on the previous disc, takes a much more dominant role this time around and sports a fancy new half-twang. In keeping with this Saddle Creek-inspired turn for the worse, the piano has now been relegated (with a few exceptions) to simple
aesthetic notes here and there while center stage is given to the acoustic guitar. Though the band may be trying to reach into new and folksier territories, the truth is that this album is more mediocre for the new wave of that Genre than even Rilo Kiley was.
The lyrics range from narratives about growing up and change ("The Miracle That Never Came") to awkwardly bad politics ("Who Will Save Us Now") while the band seems to try too hard to achieve beauty that was so effortless the first time around.
There's nothing wrong with feeling the need to move on and find new direction, but hopefully next time they'll go down a more interesting road.
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Straylight Run - The Needles the Space
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