Bishop Allen: Lights Out (Dead Oceans) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Bishop Allen

Lights Out

Dead Oceans

Aug 18, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


For post-millennial indie’s resident Harvard-educated polymaths, Justin Rice and Christian Rudderthe driving duo behind Bishop Allenthis persistently-upbeat pop project is just one of their many pursuits. Since launching the band a decade ago, they’ve done things like act in multiple movies and a web series (Justin), co-direct a documentary on Bob Dylan (Justin, again), co-found a dating site (Christian), and score The Weinstein Company’s Bully (both, together.) Among all that, they somehow found time to record four LPs and 12 EPs. Bishop Allen hasn’t put out an album since 2009’s Grrr…, but it’s a damn sure bet that time wasn’t spent sitting on their hands.

So what can be expected from the new Lights Out? Mostly a lot of the same stuff that made you enjoy Grrr… way back when people still had Netflix disc service and Matthew McConaughey was just a guy who did terrible rom-coms. “Start Again” leads a dozen summery tracks out of the gate with a catchy guitar riff and ooey-gooey boy-girl harmonies; then the warm ‘n’ wistful “Why I Had to Go” dials back the pace but not the sunshine. It’s like the twenty-aughts never ended! Bishop Allen’s sound now feels surprisingly old-school and gave us nostalgic stirrings for a period we didn’t know we missed, but is that enough? It’s possible, but a few stellar songs do push the record over the sentimental hump, such as “Hammer and Nail”one of the record’s pervasively groovy tracksand the closer “Shadow,” a pretty, acoustic number sung by longtime member Darbie Nowatka. (www.bishopallen.com)

Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10



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