Music » Local Music

The Dears - Degeneration Street

New release taps into an interesting reboot, openly flirting with pop

by

comment
1109021.jpg

The Dears - Degeneration Street
Danger Bird

The Britpop and Smiths comparisons long addling Canada's Dears may relax with their fifth album, on which the charismatic Murray Lightburn and his moody cohorts change it up — with middling results. Band harmony helps; Degeneration Street marks the return of three members who left during fraught sessions for 2008's Missiles. Luckily, Lightburn's passion is uncompromised, coalescing well with pulsating '80s pop experiments ("Omega Dog") and slow-dance atmospheres ("Lamentation"). The problem appears when the Dears craft something that makes Lightburn sound vaguely ridiculous. Bubblegum grunge "Blood" has the perfect cringe-worthy dynamics to recall any number of horrendous mid-'90s modern rock hits, but most disappointingly, Lightburn's intensity derails the charming Motown imitation "Yesteryear." Over a different arrangement, his vocal would be fine, but amidst this brightness and levity he comes off more Tony Orlando than Smokey Robinson (although in fairness, there's a reason Motown singles didn't go on for four minutes). All the same, the Dears have tapped into an interesting reboot with their open pop flirting; ingratiating moments like the bouncing, persuasive "5 Chords" suggest they've still plenty of life ahead.

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 letters@metrotimes.com.

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.