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Saturday, September 18, 2021

CD review: Frog Eyes

Artist: Frog Eyes

Album: Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph

Label: Dead Oceans

Rating: 4

Just a few years ago, after the release of the critically acclaimed Tears of the Valedictorian, Frog Eyes found themselves at the forefront of “indie rock.” But amidst all of the hype surrounding their release of Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph, the biggest lament for both fans and critics alike is the absence of the eccentric pop-payoff that made Tears such a dynamic album.

Paul’s Tomb features distinctively epic songs that are guided by lush arrangements and band nucleus Carey Mercer’s articulate verses. But for maybe the first time in his career, Mercer’s erratic barks ebb at the expansiveness of his songs. Though he sounds more energetic and intense than ever, his voice drags the crescendo of the songs and they quickly lose steam. But as unpleasant as it is to be denied a classic “pop song” from an indie rock band, Paul’s Tomb carves an arc deep enough for the introspective complexity of Mercer’s songwriting.

Give these tracks a listen: “A Flower In a Glove,” “Odetta’s War”

For fans of: Swan Lake, The Tallest Man On Earth

– Amber Yan

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