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Post Date: 12/31/2005
All Our Golden Tomorrows
Second Story

Format Reviewed: CD

When the major labels finally succeed in letting TV/movie executives, accountants and computer software applications create albums without the aid of musicians or songwriters, the results will be similar to All Our Golden Tomorrows. In this case, UHF, an actual band from Portland, is responsible for creating the album, in the sense that after writing the songs, they went into a studio where the sound of their hands colliding with instruments was captured on some sort of digital media. That may well be the end of their contribution, though. Before reaching your ears, those sounds were polished, quantized, shifted, hammered, sanded and groped into submission, and they roll out of the speakers like a musical version of aerosol cheese; sure, it's tasty and familiar, but did this really come from a living organism?

This kind of hyper-produced perfection is impressive in its own right -- most of these eleven songs are ready to be dropped straight into the soundtrack of your favorite prime-time WB teen soap. "Disconnect" is a marvel of hook efficiency: the hook is the arrangement. We all love those catchy choruses and guitar lines, but a three and a half minute song containing nothing but the metaphorical money shot is about as satisfying as a three and a half minute car commercial. The song is cleverly crafted, and clearly designed to sell product to almost-angsty teens -- especially its boilerplate let's be unique lyrics, which feature sentiments like "Everybody wants a machine, gonna do what it's told / get me out of these in-betweens..." Don't be fooled -- it's not the sound of real rebellion. It sounds more like Vicki from Small Wonder trying to convince Harriet that she's a real girl. Pretty convincing, actually -- but then again, Harriet was as dumb as a box of rocks.

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