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Return of the Century

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Editors’ Notes

At first blush, the 1900s’ Return of the Century sounds like a neo-folk-rock classic, adorned with winsome vocal harmonies, chiming guitars and bittersweet melodies. But there are darker, more mysterious aspects to this Chicago indie-combo’s sophomore album that sink in after the surface sweetness wins the listener over. The band — now slimmed down to a sextet — weaves vignettes of romantic dysfunction and spiritual domination into its elegantly nuanced tunes. Singers Edward Anderson, Caroline Donovan and Jeanine O’Toole offer these songs with an earnest yet melancholy air, accented by Andra Kulans’ violin flourishes. “Amulet,” “Lay a Ghost” and “Zerkalo” wrap elliptical lyrics around honeyed hooks, creating a pleasantly unsettling atmosphere. “Lions Fur” is a particularly good example of what the 1900s do best — vaguely tropical in sound, it combines a cascading tune with nervous observations about life’s boundaries. “Overreactin’” drapes rippling strings over a silken groove, while “Jean Demon” basks in ethereal orchestration.

Customer Reviews

they're back...

...then again, they never left - just took 2 years to put out this great album. Been looking forward to this for a while and it doesn't disappoint. Proud they're from Chicago too.

Worth the wait!

Amazing album, their best yet! I hope it doesn't take 2 years for the next one.

Not a Fans-Only Album

Sometimes, with bands you like, you find that an album can only be appreciated when taken in the context of their previous work; that's not so with Return of the Century. Especially fantastic are "Lions Fur" and "Babies".


Formed: 2004 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Chicago indie pop outfit the 1900s officially formed in the spring of 2004, but the group's roots date back more than a decade. Singer/guitarist Edward Anderson, guitarist Mike Jasinski, and drummer Tim Minnick first collaborated in high school, playing experimental noise rock under the name Minotaurs of P. Collegiate commitments forced the project to dissolve, but in 2001 Anderson returned to Chicago, signing on with Minnick's current band, roots rockers Forty Piece Choir. His tenure proved brief,...
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