Rantings, reviews and lists from a person who structures half his life around obsessing over music.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Red Light Company - Fine Fascination (2009)

4.0 ★/8.0 - 8.9

There's no denying it; Youth is wasted on the young. Of course, many would beg to differ with various, perhaps legitimate, arguments. Acne, raging hormones, drama, high school, living with the parents, locker room antics and regularly following regrettable fads in order to "fit in", are all things that we, as adults, are probably glad to have gotten out of the way early. But then there's that intangible spark of idealistic longing that, over time, through the pain of responsibility, hardens into cynicism. The absence of that is a little more tragic, and Fine Fascination fulfills the very basic need to relive those past glories and optimistic times. The album is utterly charming for the way it perfectly captures the nature of youth, complete with sneering boyish vocals, hopeful crescendos, and a musical slant towards immediate pleasures; soul-affirming, arena-rock gestures and pop hooks. Seeing as how Los Campesinos! and, to a certain extent, Frightened Rabbit, beat them to the punch last year, the album will probably be extensively criticized for lack of originality. Quoted from the lines of one of the exuberant centerpieces, "The Architect", Red Light Company can mimic and deliver, but they don't really know how. Still, they only fail in the endearing way that most teens usually do; earnestly reaching for the stars, without the slightest clue about how far away they actually are. Fine Fascination still triumphs as a consistently satisfying 40 minutes of wistfulness, from the jagged bar rock of "Words Of Spectacular" to the rumbling bass, space and explosive climax of "When Everyone is Everybody Else". Whip out your lighters, warm up your air guitar skills and prepare for some quality nostalgia.

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