Four albums in, and not much has changed in the world of Einstein's Sister. The guitars still jangle, the hooks are still bright and brassy, and the major musical references are taken from the textbooks of British pop. It must be rough being a pop band from Moline, IL, if only because a lot of good new music has a tough time making it down I-80 and into the middle of the country. Because of this, it's not surprising that with their fourth album, Humble Creatures, Einstein's Sister are still doing basically the same thing they've always done (albeit with some minor changes). What is surprising is that it still does work. The only strike against Humble Creatures is its similarity to Learning Curves, but a pop devotee will notice the subtle differences. "This Is the Day" cops a rootsy vibe, the wonderful mock-Merseybeat of "Mermaid Parade" references late-period Beatles with its trumpet solo, and (despite some slightly saccharine lyrics) "Solar Circle Girl" plays with the stew that is Einstein's Sister by adding reggae pop. In many ways, Humble Creatures is the most direct and glossy (and therefore accessible) album yet in the band's catalog, especially in the return of more full XTC-like guitar sound and their willingness to tweak the formula just a bit. It may be evidence of a holding pattern, but the band is at least holding on at the right point in their career. -AMG
If you like "Humble Creatures" get it here!