It's very, very hard to talk about Paris Falls' latest CD, Reverse Mirror Image, without using a plethora of adjectives that have already been painted in bright letters across reviews of their first three albums.
They are still the living embodiment of everything that made pop music awesome in the 1970s, especially the more glam-pop goody bits though they haven't lost any of their flair for the more psychedelic moments in their music. True, Reverse Mirror Image is less Pink Floydian than their previous work, and seems to fall in the legendary sunken continent between Roxy Music and Weezer, but longtime fans of the band should have absolutely no complaints at all over the content.
What you end up with is a very solid nine-song album that balances well between a light pop fare with notes of more experimental and profound flavors in their music. Raymond and Jennifer Brown are like one of those chain-guns in action films that never run out of bullets, except in this case the bullets are funked-up guitar licks and plaintive vocal melodies.
Each shot hits the listener perfectly, at a pace that rarely stumbles. Far too many bands who enjoy the jam will continue a song long after it's over, but Paris Falls rarely succumbs to this particular sin. Instead, their longer compositions have a patterned, chamber-music quality rather than overly enthusiastic noodly competitions.
It's the shortest song on the album, though, that is the real standout. "It's a Charade" clocks in at just more than two minutes, but it feels like a never-ending epic soundtrack moment. Listening to it makes you wander exactly what kind of awesome indie movie you've wandered into the trailer for.
You start looking around for Zooey Deschanel to show up and teach you a lesson about life and love when you hear it. Only the best songs can make you feel like the star of your own life while listening to it, and "It's a Charade" is definitely one of those songs.
Indeed, for a band that's known for its extended, smoothed-out jams, it's really the rapid fire pop pieces that make Reverse Mirror Image pretty damn single-tastic. "Civilized" is not only a great bit of strum and hum, but also has fabulous strings by Jennifer, something we frankly wish there was a bit more of on the album.
Or take our favorite song title from the album, "Zero for a Day," which melds both aspects of the band into a pop anthem It's an inspired, driving tune that takes you from the sweetness of The White Stripes' more tender moments into the drawn out guitar romp that plays like an incredible love scene.
All in all, it would be very hard to be unhappy with this album playing in your living room.
Jef With One F is the author of The Bible Spelled Backwards Does Not Change the Fact That You Cannot Kill David Arquette and Other Things I Learned In the Black Math Experiment, available now.
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