The 1900s - Cold and Kind
Download: The 1900s - "Georgia"
Cold and Kind (Parasol, 2007)
Love may be a many splendored thing, and expressing the complications that can arise from being in love can be even more splendored. But that doesn't mean that expressing those emotions is an easy task to accomplish. So judging by the first notes of mournful piano that announce "No Delay" and the opening line "Too afraid to be alone/too afraid to leave my home", one can assume that there's a deep well of melancholia at the source of Cold And Kind, the debut album of The 1900s. But, as with all dark moments, the moments of light eventually appear at the end of the tunnel.
Cold And Kind is filled with songs that capture that dynamic expertly. Though there is a mournful quality that permeates the album, the music is as pure and as bright as a sunrise in 1970s California. Cold and Kind bristles with the kind of pop music that should satisfy fans of Belle and Sebastian and Fleetwood Mac. So songs like “Acutiplantar Dude,” which addresses, in part, what happens when death hits close to home, features cowbell, beautifully sad multi-part harmonies and a buoyant refrain.
Other songs, like "Cold and Kind" and "The Medium Way" shimmer and shine with an carefree, yet staunchy disciplined, sense of melodiousness. The 60s garage-rock foundation laid down by the Chicago septet's first EP, Plume Delivery, has been expanded and elaborated upon. But by sharpening their melodic prowess on tracks like "Georgia" and "Two Ways", The 1900s prove that you can fulfill your melodic potential and satisfy your ambitions without getting pretentious or indulgent. Cold and Kind is exactly 40 minutes of pop perfection and I haven't been able to stop listening to it since I bought it at Lollapolooza. This is one of the best albums of the year.