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splendid > reviews > 11/23/2001
Sorry About Dresden
Sorry About Dresden
The Convenience of Indecision
Saddle Creek


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "On Contradiction"

Buy me now
Omaha-based Saddle Creek Records is furthering their expansion beyond their native state to include this North Carolina band. The connection is obvious, though: lead singer and guitarist Matt Oberst was born in Omaha, as was his well-known brother, Conor (of Bright Eyes), who helped form the label and has (or had) a hand in many of its bands.

Iíd like to assure skeptics that Matt and his band are not attempting to build a career on name recognition alone. While the brothers have similar voices and solid songwriting abilities, Sorry About Dresden succeeds on its own merit. The Convenience of Indecision is an impressive album, combining personal acoustic ballads, mid-tempo melodic indie-pop numbers and up-beat emo jams with a calming consistency and an occasional country twang. Standout tracks include "On Contradiction", in which Matt sounds like Elvis Costello, while the music ebbs and flows with jangly guitars and ultra catchy vibes. It conveys a sense of urgency, catchiness and emotion that seems to me to be Sorry's trademark sound and strongest quality. "Itís Morning Again in America" exemplifies the group's penchant for writing songs about losing love, tangled webs, and depression: "Woke / Choked / The cold dead air / Your sheets are soaked straight through / You knew just what you did and you still do / But thereís no one here to confess to." These unsettling lyrics, accompanied by comforting banjo, piano and accordion, create an engaging mixture.

There are no truly sub-par songs on The Convenience of Indecision. I'd recommend it -- especially to those already interested in the Saddle Creek sound.



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