In an effort to be as eloquent as possible, I have "borrowed" from the tool box of emissaries like Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jack London, and that dude who used to be the President of Hamilton:
Born to the sounds of Barry Manillow and The Carpenters, raised on romantic comedies, and schooled in failed love and misfiring lust--Absentee emerge well-versed in the rigors of romance with their finest album to date, Victory Shorts.
But seriously, British swoon-rock outfit Absentee released their third album, Victory Shorts, overseas last month and for the first time in a while I'm not bitching about getting raped by the exchange rate (is $25 USD too much for a vinyl? talk amongst yourselves).
While lead singer Dan Michaelson can't help but resemble bass-laden crooners like Johnny Cash, Steve Berman, or Tom Waits, his band mates support him in a refreshingly sincere way using all the instruments that make us Bobkats giddy (melodica, glockenspiel, lap steel).
Like most great pop albums, Victory Shorts is an easy listen that only becomes more enjoyable with time. The quiet opener, "Shared", is more than just Dan Michaelson 101. Melinda Bronstein's backing vocals and gentle piano riffs evoke R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts". When Absentee stretch their legs on the beat-driven "Bitchstealer" and the excellent closing track "That Old Ghost", we feel an amazing sense of exploratory profoundness. Quiet when they want to be; loud when they don't; happily, Absentee never leaves us asking why.
Absentee - The Nurses Don't Notice a Thing [from 2008's Victory Shorts]