OFFICE Points Towards Mecca

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 6, 2009 10:00PM

2009_001_office_mecca.jpg OFFICE's much-anticipated follow-up to A Night At The Ritz has seemed a long time coming. Frontman Scott Masson (and only current member?) reconfigured the band earlier last year and hinted that a free download of the album would be available over the summer. Alas, it never hit public ears. We were lucky enough to get a copy though and the album became a staple on our playlist through the fall and winter months.

That new album, Mecca, continues Ritz's pop leaning while injecting a healthy dose of rock and/or roll and pairing them with deeply personal lyrics to create the band's most solid effort yet. Our primary critique of Ritz was that it was cobbled together as a greatest hits of sorts, and with Mecca OFFICE proves they can write an enthralling album from beginning to end.

The opening trio of "Sticky Dew," "Mirror Lake," and "Nobody Knows You" are just the sort of gummy glam that will burrow in your ears and refuse to let go, and they're canny openers since they'll keep old fans happy while drawing in new ones. A listen to the lyrics will reveal something deeper and darker at work though, particularly the reflective tone of "Nobody Knows You" as it explores remaining relevant in any given "scene" while retaining any sort of personal respectability.

And then, the band switches tactics with the genre-hopping "Ridiculous Plans," allowing the remainder of the album to meander between styles as they fit the songs' moods and subject matter. The band incorporates some of the more daring tendencies of their earlier work without sacrificing the melodies of their later compositions. The band finally comes together to work out its competing inclinations allowing those tendencies to work in concert with each other instead of pulling the songs apart.

And now you can enjoy what we've been digging since everyone finally has a chance to listen in to the band as they reach another peak.