Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Post Rock Archive  |  About the Bloggers  |  E-mail: Click Track  |  On Twitter: Click Track  |  RSS Feeds RSS

Album review: Magic Kids, "Memphis"

young jeezyMaking magic on their debut album. (Courtesy of True Panther Records)

By David Malitz

On first listen, this debut from Magic Kids sounds like a soda-fountain-sweet collection of breezy sock-hop ditties that draws heavily from the Beach Boys playbook. And while that is all accurate, the album is more than a simple exercise in retro charm. The very young Memphis quintet uses its '60s obsession as a platform to show off a fully realized and immaculately executed pop vision.

Orchestral flourishes sweep in and out but smartly never overpower or overdramatize the songs. Violins and occasional brass aren't used as crutches for emotional heft but are vital elements in achieving a perfect equilibrium, comfortably nestled between Bennett Foster's inviting falsetto, abundant hooks and girl-group harmonies. Whether dealing with giddy glee ("Superball," "Good to Be") or wistful longing ("Summer," "Sailin' "), there's nothing haphazard about the band's concoctions, all as ebullient as they are efficient.

Occasionally "Memphis" teeters on the brink of being precious. The almost onomatopoeic keyboards in "Superball" and some grade-school-worthy love lyrics ("Diamonds and pearls / My steady girl," Bennett coos on "Hey Boy") make the sugar rush almost too intense. But the conviction with which the band delivers each tune proves impossible to resist.

Perhaps Magic Kids' best feat is that "Memphis" successfully walks that fine line of achieving a signature sound - summer vacation stories that are carefree yet carefully crafted - without offering 11 variations of the same song. It's the latter part of that equation that will likely make Magic Kids worth following once the season changes.

Recommended tracks: "Candy," "Superball," "Hey Boy"

By David Malitz  |  August 24, 2010; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Quick spins  | Tags: Magic Kids  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Album review: Usher, "Versus"
Next: Singles file: Rihanna f. Mariah Carey, J. Roddy Walston and the Business, Glasser


this band is terrible. i saw them open for ariel pink. beyond terrible. wanted to claw my ears off.

Posted by: justin032 | August 26, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company