—Album by Girls
- Jan and Dean meets Elliott Smith
- It’s not exactly a unique take to point out the cognitive dissonance between the sunny surf rock layers of Album and its melancholy subject matter, but it’s such a defining aspect of the album that you can’t ignore it. It’s an album of disillusioned late summer, when tans turn leathery, when flings turn into breakups, when warmth becomes suffocating heat. If you can take Christopher Owens’ Elvis-Costello-after-a-night-of-speedballs vocals and you have half the appreciation for surf music that I do, then you’ll find Album as lovely and moving as I have.
—All Mod Cons by The Jam
- Elvis Costello meets The Who
- The Jam is apparently massively successful in its native England, but that fame never translated across the Atlantic. I think this is partly because, unlike the Clash’s genre-hopping or the one-of-a-kind coked-up mania of Elvis Costello’s Attractions, the Jam combined the Angry Young Man discontent of late-70’s England with a distinctly English sound: specifically, the Who in full Mod mode. The sound is less immediately appealing to me—I don’t know if I’ll ever be de-punked enough not to be annoyed by solos again—but the album’s got more than enough critical respect and obvious potential to let it grow on me.