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The Last Little Life - EP

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Album Review

Coming a full eight years after the release of Seven More Minutes, the Rentals' The Last Little Life EP is a wonderfully pleasant surprise. Nowhere as jokey as the debut or as glossy as Seven More, the disc is low-key, understatedly sweet and melancholy with just the right mix of studio polish and simplicity. As on the first two records, Matt Sharp has a knack for writing hooks that sound familiar yet exactly right; every song sounds like a lost hit of '90s alt rock radio. He's still not the world's greatest singer (which made his solo releases sometimes tough to get through) but has the sense to surround himself with some lovely female singers (Lauren Chipman, Rachel Haden and Sara Radle this time out) who engage in heavenly harmonies throughout. The arrangements help, too, with the lush strings, burbling synths and swooping trombones boosting the simple melodies and giving the EP a real emotional kick, especially on the closing ballad "Sweetness and Tenderness" (which is a new version of a track from Return of the Rentals.) You may not have missed the Rentals too much while they were gone, but if they keep releasing records this good, you'll sure be glad they're back.


Formed: 1994

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The Rentals were the new wave-influenced project of singer/songwriter Matt Sharp, former bassist for power pop favorites Weezer. Born in Arlington, Virginia, on September 22, 1969, Sharp co-founded Weezer in 1992, and in the months to follow, the band emerged as one of the most popular up-and-coming acts on the Los Angeles club scene; their self-titled debut LP appeared on Geffen two years later, becoming a major hit thanks their smash single and video "Buddy Holly." During the spring of 1994, Sharp...
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The Last Little Life - EP, The Rentals
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