"Float On," the latest single by Modest Mouse, is so exciting that it could be the indie-rock answer to OutKast's "Hey Ya!" Catchy, playful guitar lines lift cheery lyrics into this danceable contender for song of the year, complete with the happiest shout-along to ever grace a Modest Mouse song. Unfortunately, "Float On" also makes the rest of its album, Good News for People Who Love Bad News, pretty disappointing in comparison.
On its previous LP, The Moon and Antarctica, Modest Mouse expanded its post-punk with more serious songs both lyrically and musically, so the harmless, indifferent tone of its latest is a bit of a shock. It's not a bad album by any means, but facts are facts: "Bury Me with It" sounds like someone's crusty uncle trying to cover Modest Mouse's older material, while more than a few songs are halfhearted attempts to imitate Tom Waits. Then there's "World at Large" and "Blame It on the Tetons," songs so long-winded and tame that they could have been co-written by Richard Marx. Modest Mouse newbies may dig the mildly catchy material anyway, but longtime fans who want only "Float On" should rechristen the album as Good News for People Who Love iTunes.
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