Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Cut Ups "Jusserand"

The Cut Ups are a Washington, D.C. duo who employ simple, sparse song structures with an emphasis on mood and lyric. Their understated approach serves their songs well. From the opening notes, their second album "Jusserand" sounds richer and fuller than their first ("Hearts, Kings, Lies"). The band has progressed artistically, with more care paid to the elements of the songs. They've brought in other musicians to enhance their sound as well. Throughout the record the guitar chords are bright and crisp, the simple, unobtrusive drumming propels the songs forward, the light touches of keyboard and synthesizer effects are never overwhelming. The recordings have a live feel. "New Years Eve", the rocker of the album, clatters like a Slanted & Enchanted era Pavement song. "California Questions", another standout track, is reminiscent of The Feelies. Perhaps a few more rockers would have rounded out this record. And the lyrics deserve to be printed on the insert. But these are minor points.

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