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Life Through One Speaker

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Album Review

Lots of people make adult pop these days; precious few do it as well as Young and Sexy. Hailing from the dead center of the indie pop world in 2003, the Vancouver band follows up its remarkable debut, 2002's Stand Up for Your Mother, with an album that is remarkably just as good. Life Through One Speaker is everything the first album was (intelligent, catchy, emotional, inventive) and then some (epic, beautiful). The band sounds more at ease in the studio, and as a result the songs sound more relaxed and fuller. The extra coat of professional studio gloss that might sink most indie pop bands seems to suit them quite nicely. The band sounds like a classic mid-'80s pop group (Prefab Sprout, Beautiful South), only without the cheesy '80s technology getting in the way. While the record lacks a killer single, it sports exquisite songcraft and performances from the opening notes of the stately "Oh My Love" to the fade of the sweet self-referential ballad "Young & Sexy." Lucy Brain's sweet, clear vocals are more prominent on Life; she takes most of the leads, leaving Paul Hixon Pittman's flat, cynical vocals to be spice to her sugar. She is especially wonderful on the ballads "Lose Control" and the surprisingly political "More Than I Can Say." Best of all are her offhandedly beautiful then all-out rocking vocals on the disco-fied then rocked-out "One False Move." Listing all the highlights of an album this good would take far too many words but a few tunes stand out: the crashing epic "In This Atmosphere" (which Pittman helms with style), the previously mentioned "One False Move," and the twisting "Herculean Bellboy" (which is the track on the album that sounds the most "Vancouver"). Simply put, this is a great record, destined to be on year-end best-of lists, sure to be traded back and forth between love-struck friends, certain to be sadly ignored by the masses.


Formed: 1998 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Cana

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Young and Sexy's boy-girl vocals, gentle melodies, and golden arrangements pay true homage to the Beatles while securing them a spot in the ranks of contemporary wonder popsters Call & Response, Aislers Set, Beulah, Gentle Waves, and the Clientele. The origins of Young and Sexy lie in a chance meeting between Paul Hixon Pittman and Lucy Brain in Vancouver in 1993. They spoke briefly at a place called the Bread Garden as Brain prepared Pittman's sandwich. Minutes later, she was surprised to find...
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Life Through One Speaker, Young and Sexy
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