The Salim Nourallah Treefort 5 - Hit Parade
The Salim Nourallah Treefort 5 is an odd mix of brilliance and frustrating need to try and prove their brilliance. "Hit Parade" is bloated with genius; the band has a seemingly effortless command of lyric and musical weapons; it is also occasionally marred by songs or lyrics that try way too hard to be clever. Relax guys, you got it.
"This is the place to fall in love" proclaims the opening "38 Rue De Sevigne," an ambitious mix of Grateful Dead, Beatles, alt-country and disjointed, monotone pop, which is followed by the swirling power pop of "Unstoppable," a whimsical ode to youthful fearlessness and wonder. Mixed in are songs like "Goddamn Life," a great jangly country pop with a melody that boosts, rather than exposes the clever lyrics, and the raw, gorgeous "Friends For Life," a stripped down,
gorgeous ballad with lyrics that will ring far too true for anyone with similar
Then again, the title song is merely decent psychedelia, "Travolta" a throw-away, skinny pop for the all too hip, and the annoying "Miette," another self-conscious, jaunty excursion into clever. Relax, guys, you really can write literate, deft songs with great memorable melodies-don't try so hard to prove what you already have. It doesn't seem possible that these songs were written by the same band that delivers "Warriors Of Love, a languid but biting waltz with devastating writing (" if love is a battlefield, our hearts are machine guns").
Trying to be cool ain't cool, and that shows in a big way on this record's clunkers. But overall, "Hit Parade" is, like it creators, brilliant and dizzying in its mastery. Expect more classics from The Salim Nourallah Treefort 5, and hope for increasingly less chaff as they lock into their true power.
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