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(Older reviews archived alphabetically by artist name.)

  A Cult Of One  
  My Favorite  
  Double Agent  
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This is the second EP in My Favorite's 3 EP series about Joan Of Arc. At least, if you believe their press it is. Personally, i find this disc to have about as much to do with Joan Of Arc as The Clash's London Calling. That is to say -- there is no obvious connection at all.

My Favorite's music is typified by being about the meaninglessness of suburban American life. How this relates to a woman who led an army against the invading English and was eventually burned at the stake, is beyond me.

However, does it really matter? I guess not, but i read this stuff on their website and i wonder what it means. It distracts me and annoys me by hinting at "artistic pretentison".

However, My Favorite's music is good enough to make me forgive them. This is a band that understands the glory of a 4 / 4 rhythm with strong bass riffs and soaring synthesizers. I love that 80's sound, and this is another fine release by this retro influenced band. There are only 4 tracks, so let's take a quick look at each of them.

The EP starts off with Le Monstre, in which sometimes vocalist Andrea Vaughn sings a frustrated tune of extended convalesence. Something about spending "5 years in the infirmary" after a car accident and mourning the growing distance between oneself and one's freinds. The lyrical content is pretty dark and dreary, but Vaughn's voice is high pitched and seemingly happy, while bassist Gilbert Abad thumps away a might bass line worthy of Peter Hook at his best. It's actually a great, fun song.

The next track is a typical paen of suburban angst from vocalist, synthesizerist,and band-leader Michael Grace, appropriately titled The Suburbs Are Killing Us. This is a good little synth-pop number. It contains that bittersweet blend of nostalgia and despair that i loved on Love At Absolute Zero. This is another fine song in that same spirit.

This bitsweetness is carried into The Black Cassette, a nice poppy tune featuring Vaughn on vocals again, this time describing life as a bored teenager. The chorus on this one is very nice, with Vaughn's voice soaring and Grace backing her up. I listen to this and i wonder: what is actually on "the black cassette". My bet is a mix of New Order and The Smiths -- maybe Brotherhood on one side and The Queen Is Dead on the other.... At least, listening to the music, those are the two most obvious reference points.

My Favorite wrap up the EP with a song that is completely a-typical for them. On John Dark (A Simulation) an echoy piano plays atop strange sounds of a crowd of people talking. There are heavily distorted vocals from Mr. Grace in there as well, distorted so that they almost blend in with the recorded crowd sounds, and are about as intelligible. In all honesty, i find this song vaguely creepy.

On the whole though, My Favorite have given us another fun little EP to tide us over while we wait on the inevitable Smiths reunion tour. Three songs of nigh perfect pop. You can't beat that.

Related Links:
  A review of Love At Absolute Zero, My Favorite's debut full-length.  

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