Monday, December 14, 2009

The Rosenbergs - Department Store Girl - 2004


The Rosenbergs spent the early 2000s riding a most unfortunate roller coaster: They were offered a slot on the then-hip Farmclub TV show, but turned it down when the contract terms proved unacceptable. They inked a groundbreaking profit-sharing record label deal with Robert Fripp's artist-friendly imprint Discipline Global Mobile, only to be left holding the bag when DGM failed to bear fruit. And their vocal advocacy of Napster went for naught when the file-sharing service crumbled under its own controversy. The band could have been forgiven, then, if they had followed up 2000s Mission: You with a record embittered or indulgently dwelling on the trappings and challenges of the record industry. To their credit, they do not, instead releasing a record so earnestly pop and so incessantly buoyant that one suspects they might actually only be in the business for the sake of making good music. Department Store Girl is a far less-produced effort than Mission: You, foregoing bells and whistles (literally) in favor of keeping the attention on Joe Mahoney's chunky guitar riffs and David Fagin's glossy vocals. Like Cheap Trick's better moments, the formula works fabulously in places, particularly when Fagin gets to toy with playful rhymes and pop culture references. "Crockett & Tubbs," an homage to kids playing TV characters, is the best example; other standouts include the bouncy "Birds of a Feather" and "Nighttime Lover." Beyond the up-tempo successes, the ballad "Woods" marries a gorgeous acoustic guitar melody to tasteful strings and tight harmonies, showcasing a new side of the band. All told, Department Store Girl is a smart, tight collection of pop underground gems, deserving of the same success that Fountains of Wayne experienced in this time period with their fluke hit "Stacy's Mom." This is a highly recommended album for fans of true power pop. -AMG



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6 comments:

Willard said...

Many thanks, as always. Especially for the background and insight.

vinicius said...

thank you guys

thank very very very much

vinicius said...

Thank you very much for posting Department Store Girl, and I wonder if you can post the album of Aquavibe of the same name?Of 2004 also.
sorry to ask too much, and the blog is very good ^__^

Anonymous said...

Great CD (I have had it since release). Any possibility of posting David Fagin's solo outing? Thanks for the fantastic blog!

GeneLinnel said...

Excellent album and great blog. Is Hodad Heaven gone for good? It was a favorite of mine. Glad this one is still here. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot! I've been looking for it for over 4 years. At last I found it.
The Rosenbergs are sooo cool!!!

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