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Lotion: The Telephone Album
Lotion: The Telephone Album
turnover time:2024-06-22 05:34:38

It's been a few years since Lotion lured reclusive novelist Thomas Pynchon out of his apartment to write the liner notes for its 1996 album, Nobody's Cool; Pynchon had been only sporadically productive for years, and his association with the band was a publicist's dream. Despite that fact—not to mention the out-and-out pop brilliance of the album—nobody much cared, and Lotion quickly returned to its not-so-exalted position as a critical darling of the New York City pop underground. Judging from the sound of the new, Pynchon-less The Telephone Album, the band hasn't spent the last three years grieving over its lost chance at fame and fortune; in fact, it doesn't sound like Lotion has been doing much of anything. The Telephone Album effectively recycles the same charming indie-pop documented on the group's previous releases, but it fails to add much in the way of new ideas. Granted, Lotion is known more for the emotional honesty of its power-pop anthems than for its inventiveness, but even the hypersensitive post-grads at whom this stuff is aimed will find themselves a little sleepy-eyed here. Shamefully innocuous songs like "My Name Is Prince" could have fallen out of The Verve Pipe's bland alt-pop canon, while many others simply lack punch. Desperately catchy, heartbreaking songs like "Feedback Queen" and "Mr. Mosquito" prove that Lotion deserves more attention than it gets, but the rest of The Telephone Album does little to distinguish the group from the faceless pop hordes.

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