Album: Pernice Brothers <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

Discover A Lovelier You, ONE LITTLE INDIAN
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The Independent Culture

This may be the most appealing album of Joe Pernice's career, a collection of smart, imaginative indie-pop songs whose winding, cyclical melodies lodge more firmly in the memory than his previous efforts. Pernice's lyrics can be as cryptic and personal as ever, with his penchant for punning wordplay (eg "It's a sad status quotient waiting for the sky to fall", from "Saddest Quo") occasionally slipping into opacity, as in "My So-Called Celibate Life" and "Pisshole In The Snow". But there's a refreshing grasp of the peculiarity of attraction and repulsion in songs like "Sell Your Hair", "Say Goodnight To The Lady" and "Amazing Glow", the latter's protagonist reeling from sudden rejection: "And when it came to the wrecking ball, she swung it effortlessly, like it had no weight at all" - the cumbersome "effortlessly" slotted neatly into the vocal rhythm as if it were an everyday lyric. The arrangements don't stray too far from folk-pop, but the band works their influences with great subtlety: "Saddest Quo" sounds like The Beach Boys during Al Jardine's folk-rock phase, while "Snow" evokes that point in David Bowie's early career when his folk-rock strummings were being reinforced with glam-guitar stridency. Elsewhere, "Dumb It Down" blends wisps of George Harrison-like slide guitar with Clarence White-style picking.

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