12 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The fourth album from one of the more unusual synth-pop groups in recent times is a relatively straightforward pop album. What's outside of the norm about Faded Paper Figures isn't their sound; it's the members' day jobs. It's not every day that a pop trio features overachievers like singer/keyboardist Heather Alden, who's also a doctor, and her husband, multi-instrumentalist Kael Alden, who writes music for an L.A. production company and whose songs appear in TV shows, videogames, ads, and films. And singer/guitarist R. John Williams is a published author who's also a full-time English professor at Yale University. Such intellectual chops, however, don’t interfere with the band's pleasure principle, as songs like “Not the End of the World (Even As We Know It)” and “Lost Stars” feature big hooks and grand instrumentation that take the songs toward the dancefloor. “Fellaheen” dries out the sound to let the male-female vocals of Alden and Williams shadow one another for great effect. “On the Line” continues the new wave pulse.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The fourth album from one of the more unusual synth-pop groups in recent times is a relatively straightforward pop album. What's outside of the norm about Faded Paper Figures isn't their sound; it's the members' day jobs. It's not every day that a pop trio features overachievers like singer/keyboardist Heather Alden, who's also a doctor, and her husband, multi-instrumentalist Kael Alden, who writes music for an L.A. production company and whose songs appear in TV shows, videogames, ads, and films. And singer/guitarist R. John Williams is a published author who's also a full-time English professor at Yale University. Such intellectual chops, however, don’t interfere with the band's pleasure principle, as songs like “Not the End of the World (Even As We Know It)” and “Lost Stars” feature big hooks and grand instrumentation that take the songs toward the dancefloor. “Fellaheen” dries out the sound to let the male-female vocals of Alden and Williams shadow one another for great effect. “On the Line” continues the new wave pulse.

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