Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Elected - Bury Me In My Rings


I remember when I first heard about The Elected, project of Blake Sennet, Jason Boesel and Mike Bloom of Rilo Kiley fame.  A huge Rilo Kiley fan, I was happy for any offshoot, side project, what have you.  I walked into Fingerprints in Long Beach and walked out with Me First, the band’s debut album.  I popped that puppy in my car stereo and the shimmery, California-pop rock sound filled my ears.  My ears were not sad about it and I’ve been following the band ever since.

Their second album, (or rather his second album because let's face it, this is Sennet's baby), Sun, Sun, Sun, was just as solid as his first.  Solid like you’d expect from a professional.  A dude who really knows what the heck he's doing.  Refreshing for a change, no?  And The Elected's latest and third studio effort, Bury Me In My Rings, follows suit.  There are no surprises here, and in a good way.  Unlike so many other things in life, with The Elected, you get what you came for.  Like that awesome veggie sammie at your fave deli.  The one with the provolone and the avacado.  Crap, now I’m hungry.

But that’s not to say this new album sounds exactly like the first two or that The Elected is some God forsaken one trick pony, although I’d be perfectly happy if they were because I totally dig the trick.  No.  See, where Sennet's earlier stuff has a more electronic bend, this new stuff has taken cues from retro R&B and pop, boasting some seriously soulful melodies.  The album’s second track, “Babyface” is case and point of this.  The beat is infectious—you must clap along, in much the same way you’d be affected by a gospel choir. I think. I’ve never actually heard a gospel choir in person, but I’m pretty sure I’d be slain by the spirit.

Speaking of being slain, standout track for me is “Go For The Throat.”  A song with a title like that best have some attitude, right?  It does.  If this album were a Tootsie Pop, this track would be the Tootsie Roll center.  It’s just a perfect pop song.  Totally groovy, funky beat that vibes like a 70's disco gem, expect it's not disco. The lyrics look lame on paper, but when coming down the vocal pipes of Sennet, those words are like chocolate.  Very sweet.  That dude could sing about paddling a boat through sewage and it would sound romantic.  It would.

In fact every track on Bury could be filed under “perfect pop song.”  And perhaps this is my one critique.  I find so much beauty in imperfections, and these songs are just perfect. Every last one of them. Even the down tempo "Who Are You" gives nod to vintage Hollywood.  I could swear it's straight out of an old 40's flick. It’s as if Sennet has been spending his Friday nights honed up in the library or the studio, crossing all his pop T’s and rock I’s.  Come on dude, where’s your humanity?  Where is your face in the toilet from all the partying? Let’s see some mess.

But as neurotic as I am, I certainly can’t blame anyone else for perfecting their craft.  And in all honesty, it’s probably exactly what drew me to the music in the first place. That is, after the Rilo Kiley thing and my wildly unhealthy girl crush on Jenny Lewis.  The Elected play music that’s easy-breezy and it’s nice to not have to think about something for once, isn’t it?  I think so.


Bury Me In My Rings was released May 17th on Vagrant Records.  The band will be touring nationally in support of the release this summer.  For more information, visit them at http://theelectedband.com/ .


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