Motion City Soundtrack Go
Motion City Soundtrack are living proof that chart success doesn't rely on quality alone. The Minnesota band released four albums of sublime pop, only to yield diminishing returns.
In which case, there is no point declaring their new album Go as the possible "breakthrough" release. Instead, it is another fistful of killer tunes that would surely remain lodged in your brain, even if they don't bother the charts.
Go is the group's most relaxed recording yet. While previous releases brimmed with heady melodies and gleeful abandon, the new songs are more layered, and prove rewarding with repeated listening. The lead single True Romance signals a new folkish turn as the buzz-saw riffs and synths are jettisoned for an acoustic sound.
The sunny Coma Kid finds the singer Justin Pierre exercising restraint, allowing his voice to soar over the melody as opposed to packing whole paragraphs into a few bars. The new approach is best exemplified in Times Lines, a "growing pains" anthem anchored by the elegant refrain: "It's not a matter of time, it's a matter of timing." With the all-round quality of Go, one hopes the group have finally got their timing right.