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album I: the glass room
Legends & Deeds
Album I: The Glass Room
Recourse

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Rivers Cuomo would envy The Glass Room; it's pure retro-pop with a heavier edge, spiraling harmonies and production sensibilities that seem more in line with Starship's "We Built This City On Rock And Roll". Some of the harmonies wouldn't, admittedly, be out of place on a Weezer album, though they're sufficiently dissimilar to warrant further attention; the directions these tunes take aren't as predictable as an initial flick through the tracks would suggest.

I don't know how they manage it, but Legends & Deeds seem to have a knack for making their songs sound like they're theme tunes from sitcoms that invariably star Alan Thicke or Scott Baio. "Tonga Where Time Begins" is a great example, laden with a guitar chorus that cries out for TV broadcast. The tune thumps along with suitably island-influenced beats and just a hint of early REM. Elsewhere, "Lunchtime In The '80s" is a pick-slide-filled jaunty number that dips into Queen territory in terms of soupily delicious tempo changes, while "Young Ones" is a retro call-to-arms that stands up against anything Twisted Sister could put out and features an exhortation to wear black. This, my friends, is rock done right, especially when coupled with "One Time Looker Easy", which is (for my money) one of the most successful cigarette-lighter-in-the-air moments ever captured on an album. It ends in a crescendo of smooth fuzz that leads straight into "Is My Source", two and a half minutes of fantastically cheesy soloing that should, if there's any justice in the world, be followed by the words "Goodnight, Cleveland!"

It's not all jokiness, though; "Crow Canyon", while a little labored, is a pleasingly airy tune with a country feel. "A Summer's Goodnight" is just begging to be used in a teen flick, preferably in a scene involving confetti blowing in the wind. It's an endearing sound that fills the album; though I'm sure repeated exposure to these tunes might force you to commit terrible acts of violence, it's a great way to lift your spirits.

The round-up? Legends & Deeds sound like geeks. They sound like they've got big hair and Converse boots on. And their album artwork looks like an Alan Parsons Project ripoff. If there's anything more brainlessly enjoyable around, I certainly can't think of it.

-- Luke Martin
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