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Be He Me

Annuals

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Album Review

Just when you think indie rock has more than its share of quick-witted, sweet, and ambitious individuals who exclaim their undying earnestness in song, along comes Annuals, a collective from North Carolina that will surely win your heart with their bright folk-pop stylings. Singer/songwriter Adam Baker is the resident wunderkind behind it all, sacrificing convention for unabashed pop loveliness on the band's debut album, Be He Me. Not as rigid as the Arcade Fire and a bit more playful than Sufjan Stevens, Annuals create a fairytale-like place that's as rich in imagery as it is in sound (think Broken Social Scene), and songs such as the vibrant jeers of "Brother" and the silver-tongued choruses of "Complete, or Completing" make Annuals one of the most exciting arrivals of 2006. Baker and company just make it seem so easy and so much fun that one cannot help but fall for the hysterical guitar-driven moments of "Bleary-Eyed" and "Carry Around." Annuals will make you dance without a care in the world, and that is a great feeling. Yet a surly sense of humor also creeps underneath these mini-pop epics, too, particularly on the dawdling "Chase You Off." It's nice to see that Baker, at his youthful 20 years of age, doesn't strive to be anything but the clever, impressionable young man he is. The bright-eyed display of Be He Me couldn't have been done any better, and that in itself is a welcome refresher when it comes to listening to indie rock today.

Customer Reviews

A strong and enchanting debut

After a summer of buzz, Annuals deliver with a sweeping record that moves comfortably from soft and delicate finger-picked guitars to bombastic, electronic-twinged celebrations, often in the same song. In fact, it's the strange and unique mix of sounds and emotions that have kept me listening to this record for several months. Annuals mix up the traditional guitar-drums-bass-keyboard arrangement and create something that sounds distinctly their own: a little bit weird, very rhythmic, very catchy, and always filled with youthful energy and passion. Be He Me is consistently strong and engaging from the celebratory opener “Brother,” to the gentle closing of “Sway.” My favorite tracks: “Ida, My,” “Complete or Completing” and “Carry Around,” all of which sound nothing like each other. It’s an unusually strong debut, check it out and you won’t be disappointed.

Gorgeous

This is one of the most beautiful albums I've heard in a long time. Dynamic and explosive as well as delicate and delibrate. "Brother" has been on my playlist for a while and now I finally can say this about the full record: highly, highly, highly recommended.

This band WILL be big

I first heard this band on a college radio station when I moved to Raleigh, where they are based out of. I immediately liked their sound. It is just fresh enough but also familiar enough to really grab you. They have the layers of sound like Arcade Fire but are laid back, they also hint at Broken Social Scene. I just can't say enough good things about them. They are also incredible live!

Biography

Formed: 2004 in Raleigh, NC

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Singer/songwriter Adam Baker, guitarist Kenny Florence, bassist Mike Robinson, guitarist Zack Oden, pianist Anna Spence, and drummer Nick Radford create the orchestrated, expansive indie rock of North Carolina's Annuals. Hailing from Raleigh, three of the band's members — Baker, Florence, and Robinson — began playing together in various bands during childhood. With the addition of Oden, Spence, and Radford, the musical collective was properly born in 2004. Annuals' spunky energy drew...
Full Bio
Be He Me, Annuals
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