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Anhedonia

The Graduate

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Album Review

Anhedonia is the chronic inability to perceive pleasure. (It was also the working title of the Woody Allen film that eventually became Annie Hall.) It's such an on-the-nose title for an emo album that it's only surprising that no one thought of it before. The debut album by the Graduate is certainly a fitting candidate for the title, given the persistent moping of lead singer Corey Warning's teen angst lyrics and his unpleasantly whiny, at times truculent, vocal style. This is a real shame, because with a better and less irritating lead singer and lyricist, the Graduate would be a lot more interesting to listen to. Musically, they're on the more placid end of the emo-pop pool, favoring chorused guitar sounds and simple arpeggiated riffs that occasionally blur into shimmers of pealing high-register tones. For example, opening track "Sit & Sink" sounds like what might have happened had U2 and Brian Eno spun off and elaborated the first 45 seconds of "Where the Streets Have No Name" into its own little song. But Warning goes and spoils the mood with his deeply irritating lyrics which seem to pretty much boil down to the idea that the friend he's singing to shouldn't commit suicide because that would, like, be a drag 'n' stuff. Whatever. The Graduate deserve a better frontman than they have, but those who can overlook the problem might find something appealing regardless.

Anhedonia, The Graduate
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