Here we are at the third and final installment
of My Favorite's trilogy of EPs about Joan of Arc. I have previously
reviewed volume 2 here,
and found it to be quite nice moody new wave pop that reminds
me of my teenage suburban years. This EP is very similar. The
tone is the same, and the general themes seem to be pretty much
the same (loneliness, teen akwardness, etc.) The big difference
is in production style: the last EP was somewhat raw, whereas
this EP is very highly polished. I almost want to say it is
too slick. Almost. At any rate, there are 4 songs.
The first is Burning Hearts, which might be the longest
My Favorite song to date (6 minutes!). This song is also the
most New Ordery thing they have ever done. I mean, they normally
sound kind of like New Order, but this tune -- wow, is that
Hook and Sumner playing there, along with Ms. Vaughn? It really
sounds like Low Life-era New Order. There is the
same sort of upbeat poppiness to the song. On the whole, this
is good stuff.
The Radiation is a slower and less sunshiney song. I
think it is supposed to be about living in a post-apocalyptic
world (the phrase "Let's go out in the radiation" is repeated),
and the tune features a nice dominant piano riff, synthesized
strings, and light guitarwork. The vocals here are nice: Grace
taking the lead, and Vaughn adding a nice backing bit.
My Favorite return to the sunshiney pop world with Rescue
Us. I love the guitarwork here: it's all echoey arpeggios,
very Felt-like, and quite nicely done. The drumming also has
a deep primal sound to it, very new-wave. Overall, this is a
happy tremolo-fest, and is quite good.
Finally, things end with The Lesser Saints. This track
seems to be almost a repeat of John Dark (A Simulation),
the final track on the Cult of One, since both
tunes are constructed out of piano and distorted vocals. However,
this time around the whole things seems more ... "focused".
I dunno exactly what, but this in this case the overall effect
seems more complete than the last time. It's a decent song.
Overall, i like this EP. It's great New Wave music. Man, if
My Favorite had been doing this in 1986 they would have been
playing stadiums! Nowadays i just don't know how big their audience
is. I really like this sound, but i know that some people really
don't. (For example, fellow Minion Malimus would hate this.)
Still, it's good pop music.