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Infinity Plus

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Album Review

Lois' fourth album and last for the K imprint, Infinity Plus was one of three (including Snapshot Radio and the Ship to Shore EP with Dub Narcotic Sound System) in a flurry of Lois material released in the fall of 1996. It follows in the singer's humble tradition of spare, acoustic indie pop, performed with gaunt instrumentation and recorded in a stark, bare-bulb, four-track style. Almost calculated in its initial up-/down-tempo song alternation, the album seems to favor a grand sense of the verse-chorus-verse progression. But, in spite of such a conventional approach to sequencing, the album succeeds on the strength of Maffeo's songs and her savvy choices in collaborators — Maffeo seems to know exactly who to tap for which song to enhance it just enough without overwhelming her. Low's Alan Sparhawk makes a bed of characteristically beautiful guitar for Lois' voice to sleep in on "A Summer Long" and Elliott Smith lends his soft security blanket of a voice to perfectly back up Lois on "Rougher." Seemingly at odds with her entire oeuvre, Lois openly reviles minimalism on one of Infinity Plus' standout tracks, the thrill-is-gone realization of "Not Funny, Ha-Ha": "Who the f*ck said/Less is more/'Cause you don't/Make me feel funny anymore." However, the remark is telling — just as the Beat Happening/K Records school of heart-rending twee pop was finally giving way to experimentation and a wider musical scope, Infinity Plus was Lois' fitting goodbye to bedroom-recording aesthetics, skeletal arrangements, and her longtime record label. Thankfully, her winning collaborative instincts and charming in-and-out-of-love songs weren't thrown out with the bath water.

Customer Reviews

Plus

I thought I was going to be picking and choosing just my favorites from this record - Rougher, Not Funny Ha Ha, Capital A - but ten minutes later I dropped the pretense and bought the whole thing. The production on this record is more friendly to the modern ear than what are really my favorites Strumpet and Butterfly Kiss, so that's a little plus for you.

Biography

Formed: 1992 in Olympia, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Singer/songwriter Lois Maffeo long reigned as one of the most respected voices in American indie pop — a key proponent of the Pacific Northwest's love rock scene, her spare, lo-fi sound and steadfast adherence to an underground ethos blazed a trail for the countless female acts to emerge in her wake. A native of Phoenix, AZ, Maffeo began attending Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, in 1981, initially becoming a fixture of the city's thriving music scene as a result of her grrrl-centric...
Full Bio
Infinity Plus, Lois
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