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Picturing the Weepies


"I get so emotional, baby. Every time I think of you." Oh Whitney, if you only knew. There is a lovefest going on, all over the internets, about this California duo The Weepies. This is probably because they've been featured in approximately a zillion television dramas. There is a certain power a soundtrack song holds, especially the melodramatic and overproduced ones, as they become fused with the emotion you felt while you watched that one scene that one time. Which is where I'm torn. I've never seen these aforementioned dramas (ok, ok so I've watched a lot of Grey's Anatomy, but I don't recall hearing any of their songs) so that connection is lost on me. What I'm left with are a large handful of really good songs in really shiny packaging and a bunch of others that sound like they're trying too hard.

"While the World Spins Madly On", from 06's Say I Am You is like a modern version of Red House Painters' "Have You Forgotten" and deserves to be lionized. At their best, the Weepies are a really special kind of beast. Steve Tannen's nimble and straightforward alto is reminiscent of Neil Finn, as is his songwriting, and wife Deb Talan's unique voice recalls the better parts of Shawn Colvin. Their harmonies mix with delicate ease. It can cut as deep as any indie act out there, there are just more bells and whistles. A swelling EBow here, some light strings there, tight in-the-pocket drumming. Over everything, it just sounds commercial. Not that commercial is necessarily bad, I just think ballads like "While the World Spins Madly On" are great because of their minimalist approach to melody and song. Good songs are good songs no matter how much glitter is caked overtop, I think we all know that. The glitter tends to make me dislike an average song more that I would otherwise, however, which is where Hideaway (out this Tuesday) falls shorter than desired as a complete record. But that's really just me talking. I'll still listen to it and close my eyes and picture myself on screen, kissing the girl I love in the snow as the credits roll on and on.

Listen:
Can't Go Back Now
Little Bird
[from Hideaway (out 4.22)|buy]

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