The above was what my brain told me when iTunes recommended Permalight based on my then-recent Athlete purchase. So I bought it at the same time not realising the cruel joke iTunes had played on me. It, in its infallible wisdom (praise be to iTunes), obviously thought that if I was buying one mediocre album that would make me crave similar works by better bands, I’d want another. Just a simple misunderstanding, and I’d be happy to forgive you iTunes if it had not cost me money.
Do you like Stars, the Decemberists, and Death Cab for Cutie? Go listen to them instead. Rogue Wave has qualities of all three with absolutely zero percent of their lyric writing abilities. The second track (and first single), “Good Morning (The Future)”, is exempt from my lyric critique (becasue the repetition is catchy), but almost every other song repeats the same boring line (probably including the title of the track) over and over and over. There are songs that make me want to hear the chorus one more time and ones that benefit from the power of a repeated line, but Permalight (with the one exception above) has none of these songs. By track 6, I was dying to re-enjoy Death Cab’s Narrow Stairs, but I kept listening with the hope of a last-ditch, pulled-goalie play to wow me. The last track, “Miami, Miami”, was…not bad! But it was too little too late. A couple steers of the iPod wheel later and I was happily descending a dusty gravel ridge beneath the Bixby Canyon Bridge.
Replace with: Death Cab for Cutie’s Narrow Stairs (All of it. It’s one of the best full albums I’ve had the pleasure of listening to repeatedly over the last few years).
But do hear: “Eyes” by Rogue Wave, if you haven’t already.