Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Honeydogs 10,000 Years 2003 and The Long Winters When I Pretend To Fall 2003


Where are the new great songwriters? Well, as it turns out, there's plenty of them out there. How about if we just stick to songwriters with some original ideas. That narrows the field more than a little.

Here's two of them: Adam Levy of Honeydogs and John Roderick of The Long Winters. Smart, intelligent lyrics dealing with everything from the classic love song to sharp social commentary, melodies that both borrow from the past and bring something new to the game, all filtered through particularly artful arrangements.

In the case of Honeydogs, we get a crack ace band at the peak of its powers, Levy outdoes himself with the songs, and everything works. 10,00 Years, The Rake's Progress, Panhandler's Serenade, Poor Little Sugar, and Test Tube Kid are all stand-outs.

With The Long Winters, Roderick and band are augmented by many guests, but again, it is the songs and the singing that make the show. And again, great idiosyncratic arrangements. With their occasional indie envelope-pushing strangeness, they sound a little Spoon-like, but with less pretense and more pop. New Girl, Prom Night At Hater High, Cinnamon, Shapes, Scared Straight, and Blue Diamonds are the best of the lot.

Lyrically, both of these gentleman have honed their craft well beyond even good current songwriters, and these CDs are fine results of great craftsmanship.

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