Matt & Kim - Grand
There are only so many ways to say a piano melody is ear-catching and spunky before it gets tired. There are only so many ways to compliment a drummer for adding texture to a 4/4 rock song before things get repetitive. There are only so many ways to discuss the enjoyable merits of a keyboard, drums and vocals power-pop song before it's best to just stop trying. There are only so many times a writer can start a sentence in the same manner before he drives away whatever readers he may have.
Similarly, if you've decided to form musical duo comprised of a drummer and a singer/keyboardist, there's really only so far you're going to be able to take your music if you choose to operate in standard song structures and time signatures. God bless Matt & Kim because on their sophomore album Grand they certainly give it their all under their limitations and crank out a handful of fun, peppy, grin-inducing little ditties. Really, there isn't a clunker amongst the 11 tracks Grand has to offer. All of them overflow with energy, catchy choruses, and Matt Johnson's nasal, upbeat vocals.
Every one would sound great on a feel-good mixtape made for someone who needs a little cheering up. The biggest problem the album suffers from is that listening to them all in a row becomes a little monotonous as there are few variations along the way.
Like Quasi and Mates of State before them, it's only when listening to Matt & Kim in album-length chunks that the restrictions they've put upon themselves become troublesome. As 11 individual tracks Grand is, well, grand; as an album though? Let's just say there's only so many ways a writer can make the same argument before he calls it quits.
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