steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

And Academy

"Love and Africa, Love and Academy" CD

Plan De Sens / Track +S

Genres: indie pop, jangle pop, shoegazer

band website

Dec 22 - 28 2003

Aesthetically and musically, And Academy's Love and Africa, Love and Academy is a beautiful release.  Lush, pretty guitars and soft vocals characterize the band's sound, which is a cross between Yo La Tengo-esque shoegazer and more straightforward indie pop.  With such a pretty sound, it's hard not to like And Academy.

This disc is divided into two segments, Love and Africa and Love and Academy.  Things start off very well with "August in Atlanta," a simple but melodically spastic number with a spacey exterior.  Female "bah-bah-bah" vocals are used to complement the male-sung lyrics; this enhances the song's lush, pleasant feel.  "Now That You're Colorful," meanwhile, sounds very L'altra-esque in its blend of pop and strings.  One of the album's best tracks is "Imported Germany," which makes use of a very unusual song structure and some spacey melodies.

The Love and Academy part of the disc is barely discernible from the other section, although it seems to be a bit more energetic.  "Waiting for the Hour Soon" and "Transitional - 40 People Holding Hands" are perhaps more rock-based than the album's other songs, with a bit more power in the guitars and feistier vocals.  "Circle, Straw and a Suspect" is a surefire highlight, boasting a pretty, rolling melody and song structure.

Many pop albums come out each year, and many go by unnoticed.  While And Academy's new disc may suffer from relative obscurity, those who discover it will be pleased to find out that it's one of the year's best.  If you come across it, don't miss out.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]