The Fresh & Onlys
Long Slow Dance
Sep 06, 2012 Issue #42 - The Protest Issue
The Fresh & Onlys are cut from the same stylistic cloth as contemporaneous acts such as Woods, Real Estate, and White Fence. They've been toiling about the noise pop circuit beneath the radar for the better part of a decade, despite releasing a litany of fine albums, including a trio of solo albums by frontman Tim Cohen. They mine influences as disparate as Felt, The Go-Betweens, and The Church on Long Slow Dance, to largely auspicious results.
The Fresh and Onlys have a firm grasp of songcraft that is worlds beyond their contemporaries, as well as a disarming earnestness courtesy of Cohen that differentiates them from the legions of charlatans aping similar styles. Title track "Long Slow Dance" is a pretty, shuffling, Go-Betweens-esque number, where Cohen brazenly confesses, "You supply the innocent mind/and I'll bring the guilty heart/And born together we'll build the perfect romance," leading into the absolutely devastating chorus, where Cohen spills his guts out, crooning, "True love will drag you across the yard and set fire to your home/It's long gone/It's one lone slow dance forever." The track flirts with the divine songcraft and cataclysmic relationship disaster fantasies of The Smiths' "There is a Light that Never Goes Out," and is on the shortlist for the best song of 2012 at this early juncture.
"The absence of lights/Men who seem to be blind are throwing shadows here," Cohen keens on the hyper-jangle number "Presence of Mind." With this insidious line, he's articulating a mission statement for the uniformly superb 20 Days and 20 Nights—what it's like to walk through life with your eyes wide open, equally pervious to the grief and joy attendant in doing so. (www.thefreshandonlys.blogspot.com)
Author rating: 7.5/10
Average reader rating: 10/10
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