The Lemon Twigs: A Dream is All We Know (Captured Tracks) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, June 25th, 2024  

The Lemon Twigs

A Dream is All We Know

Captured Tracks

May 22, 2024 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Perhaps the most divisive quality of The Lemon Twigs, the singular invention of Long Island brothers Michael and Brian D’Addario, is that their aesthetic doesn’t so much nod reverentially to the past as permanently reside there. Their vision is so devotional to bygone masters that it risks rendering them an empty vessel, expert imitators with no real identity. Can you build a career through homage alone?

Their new album, A Dream is All We Know, goes some way to answering that question. Recorded to tape and mixed and mastered by the brothers using “of-the-era” equipment, the record sharpens their approach to a knife-edge; the album is so steeped in nostalgic atmosphere that it sounds like a lost artifact from Brian Wilson’s basement. It is also expertly constructed, with several moments of blissed-out, hyper-melodic songcraft. In tracks like opener “My Golden Years,” which pairs an upbeat Byrds-like riff with floods of ecstatic harmony, or the propulsive standout “How Can I Love Her More?,” the brothers achieve true pop mastery. The latter boasts the kind of diamond-cut chorus that seems to have existed forever.

The band’s tropes can occasionally work against them. The fussy instrumentation and wordless chorus of “Sweet Vibration” is instantly cloying, while “They Don’t Know How to Fall in Place” devolves into a kind of hammy rave-up. These tend to be momentary distractions, however; before you know it you’re caught up in another infectious melody or meticulous orchestration.

The band comes full circle on album centerpiece “In the Eyes of the Girl,” enlisting the blue-blooded pop pedigree of Sean Ono Lennon as co-producer. Curiously, the track is the most sun-scorched moment on the record; it’s not so much an echo of The Beach Boys as a heart-on-sleeve tribute. But it is also a very good song. Undeniable, even. At this point in their evolution, The Lemon Twigs seem to be stringing more and more of those together. (www.thelemontwigs.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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