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You Are Here

+/- {Plus/Minus}

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Album Review

New York City's Plus/Minus arrives at its most fluid set of songs yet on the group's sophomore album, You Are Here. Guitarist James Baluyut finally has a band and Plus/Minus' sound, an atmospheric blend of guitars and electronic beats, is finally coming together. The dynamic between Baluyut, drummer Chris Deaner, and guitarist/vocalist Patrick Ramos is much more focused and direct than Baluyut and Ramos' stint with Versus. You Are Here is more or less a portrait of abstract colors and designs, only to be filtered out by instruments and the band's cathartic lyrics. Shifts in playing style showcase the album's varying moods, hence the appeal of the 11-song set. From the dreamy percussion/guitar mix on "She's Got Your Eyes" to Plus/Minus' traditional drumbeats on "Cutting Out" and "No One Sees You Like I Do," You Are Here highlights the band's sharp redesign. The emo-tinged "Trapped Under Ice Floes" is much more strict and cut than the original version found on the Holding Patterns EP. The bandmembers have realized their strengths with You Are Here. Instead of surrounding themselves with what appeals to them sonically, they've combined that with the visual. The more subdued "Summer Dress 1 (All Her Winter Clothes)" is their most confident. "Here We Are (Again)," which features Tuscadero's Margaret McCartney sharing vocal duties, continues in the vein of keeping things concise and simple in order for Plus/Minus' unique crafty sound to speak for itself. It's a great double-take from 2002's Self-Titled Long-Playing Debut.

Customer Reviews

The grass is greener on the other side

This CD's "hype" fades quickly because the sound drags on for too long. For example on Scarecrow, the good part of the song (i.e. the loud crash and drums) is bogged down with bridges that are screechy and nerve racking. Some of the other songs just seem to have something missing. Buy it and see what I mean.

A Great Addition To Your Library:

A refreshing mix of touching pop hooks and catch-you-off-guard syncopations, plus/minus hits here with musical lines as juxtaposed as their band's name, but all the more attractive for the skill with which they pull it off. Crisp riffs and killer rhythms abound in tracks like "Ventriloquist" and "Trapped Under Ice Floes (Redux)," while "Summer Dress 1 (All Her Winter Clothes)" injects a shot of wheat-field-in-the-sunlight into the array of off-beats, tape splices, and reversed tracks that is scattered here and there throughout the album. While it may take a close listen or two, this work definitely won't disappoint.

Their best release yet

These guys are amazing. Everyone I play Plus/Minus for loves them, no matter what type of music they normally listen to. This is their second and most refined album. Definitely a must-buy. Please note that there is *no way* you can understand the intricacies of the songs on this album by listening to the 30-second preview on iTunes. Buy it!

You Are Here, +/- {Plus/Minus}
View In iTunes

Customer Ratings