steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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2.2 Kid Life

"The Escape Artist" CDR

Ionik Records

Genres: lo-fi, indie pop

Ionik Records Cincinnati, OH 45220

May 11 - 18 2002

Parts of this album make me want to cry.  Parts of this album really make me want to cry.

But I'm going to try to keep my composure while I review this album, 2.2 Kid Life's second on the wonderful Ionik label.  "The Escape Artist" collects ten lo-fi pop songs crafted by Frank Longano (under the name 2.2 Kid Life), most of which are nearly flawless.  Take "The Saint" for example.    Its chorus is excruciatingly beautiful; although it's very catchy, there's still something in it that leaves you unsettled - something that's impossible to define, yet infinitely enjoyable to experience.

And although that piece is a wonderful one, the best one here has to be "The Pros and Cons of Avoiding Adulthood," a flawless gem of a pop song - this is the type of track you'd want to play in a starlit ballroom while slowdancing with your loved one.  Longano's wonderful voice accompanies his dreamy guitar playing perfectly - it's a lo-fi epic, something that can sit right beside one of Rob Pollard's early songs without feeling at all out of place.

Altogether, Longano's sad songs are better than his happier, upbeat ones.  While his melancholy pieces flow perfectly, and provoke an emotional reaction from you, the happier ones tend to be less well-done, and occasionally flawed.

However, most of these songs show Longano at his best - and, as a result, at his most depressing.  This is, altogether, a great lo-fi release - I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be one of the year's best when New Year's rolls around.


Matt Shimmer