The band’s progression from the na´ve trio of Californian beach bums who charmed us with their ‘The Legend Of Chin’ debut in 1997 to this band whose melodic-yet-gutsy sounds overflow with radio friendly hooks that America is at the brink of promoting them to become mainstream hitmakers is breathtaking. Anyone who was afraid their appearance in the A Walk To Remember movie was a signal they were softening up will be relieved by ‘The Beautiful Letdown’. If anything, their sound is harder and punchier than ever with award winning producer John Fields bringing out layers of rock’n’roll edge while lead singer John Foreman’s tones have never sounded more emotively keening. Stacks of highlights here – listen to Foreman’s take on the TS Elliot poem The Hollow Man, “Meant To Live”; the infectious “More Than Fine” which the band ironically describe “punk song disguised as pop”; or the breathtaking title track. All in all, a truly brilliant album.
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