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Minimalist cover art, bubbling synthesizer tracks, and John McCrea's understated vocals offer a brand of musical consistency that will be comforting to die-hard fans but may feel tedious to others. Genuinely creative and original lyrics will be inspiring to would-be songwriters, who will be inspired by the fact that these guys can write about anything and make it work.
The lyrics are mostly squeaky clean, with one four-letter word thrown in to make a valid and literate point. Along with darkly poetic love songs, there's a "save the environment" plea (on "Carbon Monoxide") and the unusually creative use of metaphor throughout. "You won't even pick me up because I'm not enough for a local phone call," sings McCrea on "Dime," as one example. This is witty, clever, and refreshingly critical of culture and politics.