“Swoon” Silversun Pickups album review by Peter Cho
Apparently I was living under a rock for part of 2006 and most of 2007, as I’ve never heard of Silversun Pickups, and when I mention this fact to anyone that has, they assert the aforementioned hypothesis.
“You haven’t heard them? They’re like the new Smashing Pumpkins!”
“Calm down, I get it, they’re awesome,” I say to them, as I inch further towards the door.
Ever the one to succumb to peer pressure, today I review for you the sophomore effort of Silversun Pickups.
The music of Silversun Pickups, when not being compared to the Smashing Pumpkins, is usually thrown into the classification of shoegaze. While their music is distorted, messy and dreamy at times, it is far from shoegaze. The vocals of Brian Aubert, albeit hazy and a tad feminine, is far too clear and could better be classified as dream pop.
That being said, “Swoon” is dim, not dark, hazy or opaque and generally a half-baked album. Not to say it’s bad, but the music seems to reach somewhere and not quite make it. The album doesn’t seem to be completely cohesive as a whole, similar to an assorted dozen donuts. While the tracks are all tracks that sound similar, some have sprinkles while others have chocolate, and they aren’t connected to each other, besides the fact they’re donuts.
Criticisms aside, the album is enjoyable to listen to and their first single, “Panic Switch,” is a catchy teaser for those new to the ways of Silversun. Standout tracks include the enigmatic “Growing Old is Getting Old,” “Sort Of” and the opening track “There’s No Secrets This Year.” The music maintains a serious nature throughout the album, while also maintaining a sound that feels like wisps of smoke entering your ears into your dreams. Seriously.
“Swoon” is overall a well-constructed album. If it were being scored on the SATs, it’d fall into the 90th percentile. “Swoon” is a nice retro-esque yet refreshing album to listen to on a rainy afternoon. The music isn’t necessarily ground-breaking, but neither is a California burrito. But in the same way that California burritos are a nice way to pass the time, “Swoon” does the same.