Album Review: Deal With It, by A Fond Farewell

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a-fond-farewellA Fond Farewell‘s Deal With It is a pop record for people who appreciate Fountains Of Wayne’s approach to poppiness: clever, catchy and vaguely reminiscent in song style while avoiding mainstream-radio sheen. They write hooky songs without telegraphing the hooks for you before you hear them. It’s more indie-rock “Sink to the Bottom” than “Stacy’s Mom” in approach, which keeps it listenable on repeat. Good call, A Fond Farewell.

Of course, brevity is the soul of wit, a lesson A Fond Farewell appears to have learned before making Deal With It; only one of the eight songs, namely “Love Again,” even makes it to three minutes in length, and that one just barely. The songs are structurally uncomplicated and lyrically sharp if not profound, and keeping the songs taut suits them all just fine. That said, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the four band members have been listening to early-’60s pop-rock during songwriting, particularly when songs such as “Love Again” and “Radio” come through the speakers. While you wonder where you’ve heard those chords before, notice little lyrical nuggets such as “the truth is that I love you, but you could use some convincing still” (from “Radio”) or “am I the one that you want, or have I become who you’re stuck with” (from “Love Again”). Then there’s “My Space,” a song about modern relationships and the Internet so maddeningly spot-on it would make MySpace Tom cringe, yet throws the listener a curveball by climaxing with a refrain of “ooohs.” 

Recorded at Close/Far Studio in one day, the songs on Deal With It all sound crisp and full, like a live show with a good soundboard mix in a much more music-friendly room than the ones A Fond Farewell usually plays in. The quality further exemplifies the band as unusual in that it knows exactly what it wants from its music–not something often said of bands that have been together such a relatively short time. Maybe there’s a “Stacy’s Mom” pop-rock home run in the band somewhere in the future; hopefully, for fans of this record, that’s still a long way off.

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2 Responses to “Album Review: Deal With It, by A Fond Farewell”

  1. The Show Report, 7/2: Absence makes the heart grow fonder « Says:

    […] and Blake Anderson. Don’t think the thoughtful songwriting ends with the openers, though; A Fond Farewell knows a thing or two about writing music both clever and catchy. Doors open at the customary 8 p.m.; watch for music to start around […]

  2. Odds & Sods « Says:

    […] More CD release news: Sunrise Cassette announced its album, Deal With It–which we reviewed so long ago the band had a different name–will finally see the light of day with a release show August 20 at Nathan P. Murphy’s. […]

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