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Rockin Our Turntable: The 1900s

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 3, 2010 5:20PM

2010_11_The_1900s.jpg Everyone except me fell all over themselves to praise the debut from The 1900s. It showed promise but the band certainly benefited from their cool-kid industry connections to garner goodwill, and I wished the local group well but I just didn't think they were delivering based on the hype surrounding them. On the heels of the release of their sophomore effort, Return of the Century, the prerequisite references mentioning their similarities to Fleetwood Mac and ham-handed attempts to describe their sound as orch-pop (?!) have come pouring out and the reviews read like carbon copies of previous reviews of the band's past efforts. I’m not going to waste your time by rehashing all of that.

But I do urge you to buy this album. Now.

As someone deeply skeptical of the praise based on the band up until now - and mind you I have long been a fan of Ed Anderson’s music (his contributions to Plane, in particular, always knocked me out) - I feel comfortable reporting that the band has finally made the quantum leap I had hoped for and is fully deserving of the accolades coming their way. The songs throughout the album are beautifully delicate, buoyed along by a stoner country vibe that makes me want to take off my shoes, find a grassy hill, and lay beneath the wide branches of a tree dripping with leaves.

The 1900s have many musical precursors, but it seems unfair to name check any of them since the group has obviously labored so hard to create something of their own. And in that they’ve succeeded. Return of the Century is surrounded by a golden warmth, coursing through every harmony and bittersweet guitar chord. The band has mastered the art of creating a genuine atmosphere, as opposed to taking musical shortcuts to convey sentimentality, and it’s impossibly not to lay back and luxuriate in the sound washing over you. Previously The 1900s excelled in mirroring sounds from the past, and the sonic dressings haven’t changed, but now there’s a genuine and unique beating heart giving their tunes life. It’s like watching the difference between four-color print and HD TV, only through gauzy pastels.

This album’s is going to help me get through the winter. Let it keep you warm too.

The 1900s "Babies"

The 1900s are playing a free in-store on November 5 at Reckless Records, 1532 N Milwaukee, 5:30 p.m., FREE