After resurrecting their career from the post- "Popular" slag heap by re-imagining their buoyant Weezer-pop into the melancholy, drifting post-collegiate mien of 2002's Let Go, Nada Surf stood still. Their follow-up, The Weight is a Gift, made the mistake of lingering and allowing the seams to show in their somewhat overintellectualized musings on love and distance. Musically, it was much of the same — a nice catch-up for those late to Let Go, but not much of an extension or expansion on their newfound Northwestern swoon.
Frontman Matthew Caw's signature ache and the implicitly gray-skied solemnity of their wistful waltzes are less a litmus here because they've opened windows, inviting sunshine in and loosing greater instrumental warmth. Producer John Goodmundson (Rogue Wave) gets brighter sparkle from the power trio (and nearly a dozen other contributors), while the band balances its effects better. "Weightless" is a fine example, fitting the longing of their post-millennial soft-focus balladeering within the break of its whirling power-pop rush, as Caws notes, "Behind every desire is another one, waiting to be liberated." Even when Caws opens "See These Bones" with the line "Everyone's right and no one is sorry, that's the start and the end of the story," his deadpan earnestness is leavened with beguiling musical shimmer to ease negotiations at the border between clever and glib.
Chris Parker writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.