Stay A Little Longer
By: Eric Greenwood
This is not good. It's not that I hate slow music either- it's just that this music lacks any recommendable qualities, and the fact that it's predominantly slow is merely a coincidence. "Seasonlong" has a pretty opening riff. I'll give it that. Strummed slowly, it sounds both hopeful and nostalgic; however, the riff ceases to soothe after about, oh, four solid minutes. The vocals are forgetfully bland and predictable (all hushed tones, deliberately strained). The fact that the song clocks in at 7:02 is another problem. The only saving grace is the baritone saxophone. When a saxophone part saves a song, that usually indicates a much, much bigger problem.
Ahh, "Summer Jens" sounds like My Bloody Valentine. Perhaps, a bit too much, but, still, it beats the hell out of the first song. Ooh. Can I retract that? Betty Boop just started singing and has ruined the song. The clumsy male/female vocal hand-off isn't helping either. Two strikes and we're only two songs in. Maybe this Nick Drake wannabe entitled "The Years Go By" will step in and smooth everything over. Quiet, airy atmospherics linger behind subtle acoustic chords. The male vocals quiver obnoxiously, but they're not too bad. Ooh, Betty Boop chimes again, and I have to throw in the towel. Jesus. Who's idea was it to let her sing?
Listening to Stay A Little Longer is one slap in the face after another. I can't imagine sitting through this at a club. I'd be passed out in a puddle of drool. "Holly" is by far the most offensive track yet. It sounds like a Saturday Night Live joke song making fun of clueless, out of touch folk hippies. I swear to God I just heard this line: "hearts are frozen when her head's all filled snowmen/and I'll be near her when her skin's all numb and tearless." You can't expect me to keep on listening after that? This is just making me mad. To make matters worse, it rambles on for six solid minutes. At least Betty Boop only has a back-up vocal role in this one.
I guess I'm a glutton for punishment: I'm still here. "Let's Work It Out" has passable music: jangly guitars and a fuzzy, feedback-driven chorus, which allows me to forgive the cheesy hand-claps. The vocals, of course, wreck everything, though. They just don't match the music. It's like somebody slipped these people ecstasy after they had been bingeing on heroin and My Bloody Valentine all weekend. Happily chirping "Let's just work it out" over dark music is just not done. "Aqueduct" is the best song so far. Guess why? Instrumental. I can't ever remember being so thankful for a mid-album instrumental.
After an all-too-brief reprieve Melochrome gets right back to sucking on "The Far Or The Near." An unremarkable, mid-tempo plodder with Betty Boop on vocals again. Synthesizers have never sounded so out of place. "Late Nights" is boredom personified. Slow core to the max with horns for good measure. While I do much prefer the male vocals to Betty Boop's, it's still not an easy listen. Double-tracked, trite phrases ("there are too many late nights") don't make for good choruses. Looking ahead I see the final track is called "Boyfriend." Please, God, don't let it be long. Phew, only four minutes and some change. Fuck it, I can't make it to the end. Needless to say, don't buy this album.