Friday, October 08, 2004

The Legends
Up Against The Legends
Lakeshore Records

Wait a second, am I becoming a hippie? I have to admit that I am getting a little scared. Between my inexplicable adoration of Brian Wilson's "Smile", my long love affair with The Shins, and my newly found appreciation for Animal Collective and Panda Bear, I can almost feel the peace, love, and happiness escaping from my very being. Now, with a rather healthy crush on The Legends things don't look to be getting any better. It's okay though, I used to be so punk, I swear.

Well, in any case, it certainly appears that Brian Wilson, is the new "hip". On the list of countless indie acts inspired by the Wilson/Beach Boys mentality of song writing this year alone, you'll find these Swedish lads, The Legends.

"Up Against The Legends" is a positively glimmering debut packed with perfect melodies and concise song structures. Quite simply, this is smart, adult pop. Right from the start you could tell that the Legends have a rather fond eye towards "yesteryear" as it were. However, like The Shins, there is a sincerity instituted within the music, a conviction noticed in the lyrics, and a credibility established in the attitude that push this band past the label of "novelty act". The results will surely put a bounce in your step, as well.

Now, while "Up Against The Legends" has no shortage of upbeat, poppy tracks it actually does show signs of diversity. The tracks "Your Song", and "When the Day is Done" are surprisingly introspective, and create a most notable atmospheric quality that any group should be proud of manufacturing. On these tracks, alone, The Legends show song writing maturity far beyond their years. Mind you, this is a band that has been together for a relatively short period of time, and have come into their own astonishingly fast.

The album clocks in at about 30 minutes give or take a hand clap, and I assure you that will not be enough once you get hooked in. The Legends have really given us a gem of phenomenal proportions here. The quality and melodies are so outstanding that I really doubt that I would be able to convey the sharpness of their cohesion in mere words.

Above all else, I have to say that this album is an utter joy to listen to. It's, honest to goodness, fun. I don't think that we ever really get a chance to appreciate that fact these days. Sure we LOVE our respective favorite bands, but how many of them put a genuine smile on our faces,? How many create that indefinable, and completely uncommon warmness inside? Well, call me an optimist, but maybe with the recent explosion of bands in this similar vein or maybe when I literally transform into a full blown flower child we could ALL get together, join hands, and, "Smile" again while listening to our favorite music. (that was such a bad joke). A boy can dream, can't he?

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