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Splitsville: Repeater
Splitsville: Repeater
turnover time:2024-06-22 06:31:57

"The kids hate power-pop" were among the last words heard on Splitsville's 1997 album Ultrasound, a solid power-pop record if ever there was one. The possibly defiant title of the group's second release, Repeater, is only partly accurate. Splitsville, whose members once made up the bulk of The Greenberry Woods, has returned with another batch of fundamentally power-pop songs, but there's a wider variety from which to choose. The tight, fast harmonies of "Big Red Sun" probably represent Splitsville at its most elemental, but, perhaps inspired by the dizzyingly complex arrangement the group created for "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" on a recent Burt Bacharach tribute album, Repeater finds Splitsville layering that sound in compelling ways. The rougher, sitar-tinged edges of "Manna (You Say You Believe)" provide one example, while other tracks sound a bit like the band to which Splitsville pays homage on Ultrasound's "Hüsker Dü." And while the feint at Southern soul on "Dixie Liquor And Beer" isn't likely to give The Afghan Whigs a run for its money, it's perfectly pleasant and appropriate in this context. (More appropriate, in fact, than the modem noises sprinkled throughout "Dotcom," but that may just be because Canibus has already made those sounds his trademark.) Though it's unfashionable these days, power-pop tends to get underrated in the best of times: It sounds a lot simpler than it is, and it makes some uncomfortable by blurring the line between "serious" and "dispensable" music. But when it works, as it does here, all that matters is that the kids love it. Or they ought to, anyway.

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