MusicRecord Reviews

Silversun Pickups

This new Silversun Pickups record is killing me. It’s not a total loss, but neither is it a clear winner. At times, the songs on Swoon sound like they were written by some skinny-jeaned, shaggy-haired teen with a scar in the shape of a girl’s name on his arm. However, there’s also a strange kind of beauty in this record.

At first listen, these 10 tunes rush at you with a faux heart-on-the-sleeve yearning that has yet to discover some thoughts and feelings are best left unspoken. And the guitar riffs on this, ostensibly, rock and roll record occasionally sound like they were crafted electronically, to the point that the guitars can come off sounding fake. Combine it all with the androgynous vocals and it’s not hard to feel like you’re listening to a band full of misunderstood kids.

However, despite the flaws—including the slick over-production that makes the songs sound like they just traveled here from 1994—there’s an odd sincerity to it. Swoon is ultimately like the high school art geek who tries a little too hard to channel incomprehensible angst into art, but nevertheless does it better than anyone else in class.