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The Elected – Boring Crap for “Hip” 40-year olds with Cardigans & Ponytails

Posted by January 27th, 2005 No Comments »

The Elected - lazy songwriteres with two many sappy electronic effects.Album Review
The Elected – Me First
Sup Pop Records
By Todd Arkley

The Elected’s opening track of their new Sub Pop album, Me First, is a beauty. “7 September 2003” brings you the high, warbly voice of Blake Sennett from a deep, cloudy back road. The lyrics are melancholic, confused and sweet. Country guitars and soft psychedelic tones mix in with his voice and, oddly enough, you’re suddenly feeling both happy and lonely all at the same time.

“Greetings in Braille” follows up on this same theme, adding in an echoed harmonica. I started thinking of the country-psychedelia of early Grateful Dead, Granddaddy and a little bit of Wilco. And I was excited to hear more.

Unfortunately, after the second track, the rest of the album begins to slide inexorably down in regard to quality, interest and execution. The lyrics become

The Elected - lazy songwriteres with two many sappy electronic effects.Album Review
The Elected – Me First
Sup Pop Records
By Todd Arkley

The Elected’s opening track of their new Sub Pop album, Me First, is a beauty. “7 September 2003” brings you the high, warbly voice of Blake Sennett from a deep, cloudy back road. The lyrics are melancholic, confused and sweet. Country guitars and soft psychedelic tones mix in with his voice and, oddly enough, you’re suddenly feeling both happy and lonely all at the same time.

“Greetings in Braille” follows up on this same theme, adding in an echoed harmonica. I started thinking of the country-psychedelia of early Grateful Dead, Granddaddy and a little bit of Wilco. And I was excited to hear more.

Unfortunately, after the second track, the rest of the album begins to slide inexorably down in regard to quality, interest and execution. The lyrics become simplistic, the melodies turn boring and the songs are misdirected and laden with junk.

To make matters worse, The Elected leans heavily on a musical abuse commonly seen with bands such as Her Space Holiday and The Postal Service. It can be summed up as thus: electronic bleeps and/or discordant synth-scratch noises slapped onto crap songs that make you sound like a hip 40-year old with a cardigan and a ponytail. My notes for tracks 3-12 basically consist of “No.”, “No!” and “No Need! No need!” Electronic drum tracks pop up to sort of break the surface and disappointingly interject ineffective dramatics into middle-of-the-road adult-oriented pop/rock tunes. Initially, I hesitated to even listen to the album, seeing the association with Rilo Kiley (The Elected singer/guitarist Blake Sennett is also the co-singer/songwriter of Rilo Kiley), the torchbearer of middle-age rock by the young. Unfortunately, my fears were founded.

Sennett also quickly runs out of interesting stories. “Go On,” “C’mon Mom,” and “A Response to Greed” are just dull. Look, I know girls can be mean, but if you’re going to write heartfelt melodic songs about them, or about love or loss, you must go with complexity and ambiguity. This is how everyone on this planet experiences life! I don’t want to hear another fucking cliché. Though I wouldn’t defend all of his tracks, please see Mssr. Richard Ashcroft’s solo work. That is how you write about life.

In summary, the bulk of Me First is marred by trite lyrics, lame melodies and shoddy “weird” electronics. It’s a fine line to walk – pop melodies, electronic effects, and raw emotion can make some of the best and some of the worst music. While I wouldn’t say The Elected are the worst, they do need to stop being lazy with their songwriting. I know they have quality work in them, so – stop screwing around. – (3/10)


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