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The World As We Know It

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Album Review

"Three a.m., a boy sits outside his house/Lonely with his guitar." If ever an opening couplet (from the first single "Let Your Spirit Soar") could capture the self-aggrandizing essence of emo, that would be it. The debut full-length by The Morning Of is a peculiar blend of indie rock angst and spiritual uplift, as performed by a piano-led pop/rock band fronted by a pair of singers, Justin Wiley and Jessica Leplon, whose stagey, pitch-perfect, but utterly characterless voices make them sound like they'd be perfect for the leads in a low-budget remake of High School Musical. (Leplon even looks a lot like a less Disney-fied Vanessa Hudgens!) The lyrics are relentlessly positive in a non-sectarian sort of way, and the music draws from the likes of Keane and Coldplay on the one hand, and a stripped-down, non-choral Polyphonic Spree on the other: in other words, it sounds like life sucks, but it's all gonna be OK. Add the show tune chirpiness of Wiley and Leplon's vocals to the unapologetically crisp, radio-ready pop of the tunes and production of aggressively uplifting songs like "Reverie" and The World as We Know It genuinely sounds like it's meant to be Up with People for the emo kid generation.


Formed: Newburgh, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Formed in Newburgh, NY, the Morning Of first came to prominence with their debut EP, Welcome Change. Goodbye Gravity. Although they stuck to playing shows in the Northeast, the bandmembers' Internet savvy allowed them to build a following -- enough so that the group was able to tour nationally in 2007,...
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