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All of Us In Our Night

Modern Skirts

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Album Review

Talk about coy: the Modern Skirts' second album indicates no label, nor does it identify the bandmembers — though the sketchy liner information does identify guest star producers Mike Mills (of R.E.M.) and David Lowery (of Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker). In place of liner notes, the insert features a series of willfully strange watercolor paintings. If the band's music were similarly quirky and ambiguous, the album might be more annoying than engaging. But in fact, the Modern Skirts' brand of rock is so poppy and sweetly melodic that it borders, at times, on easy listening. Whether they mean it ironically or not, the inclusion of mellotrons, vibraphones, "dah-dah-dah" and "oooh-aaah" choruses, and at least one guitar solo that seems to be quoting from the Willy Wonka song "Pure Imagination" ends up feeling kind of kitschy, and while it's all quite enjoyable, you come away wondering how much of your enjoyment was actually arch amusement. Maybe it doesn't matter. "Radio Breaks" sounds like Ben Folds with better hooks; "Eveready" sounds like Fastball with a softer center; "Astronauts" sounds like what the Beatles might have sounded like if they'd spent a week listening to Jim Reeves albums. All of it adds up to plenty of slightly self-conscious, but still genuine, pop fun.

Biography

Formed: Athens, GA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Formed around the talents of guitarist/vocalist Jay Gulley, guitarist/pianist/vocalist JoJo Glidewell, bassist/vocalist Phillip Brantley, and drummer John Swint, smart, melodic Brit-rock-inspired indie pop quartet the Modern Skirts infiltrated the crowded Athens, GA, music scene in 2004 with their debut EP, This Is Winning and Thinking. The band's soaring harmonies and obvious gift for songcraft won it an attentive audience early on, resulting in numerous...
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All of Us In Our Night, Modern Skirts
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