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Open Your Heart as Evidence of Music Criticism’s Like Negligence of LP Form”

I tried to listen to the Men’s album from 2012 Open Your Heart, but it’s a topheavy, guitar-heavy peal of platitudinous Sonic Youth-siphoning, proving that you can be overly earnest in punk, too. I tried to read cokemachineglow.com’s review of it, but the guy uses profanity in post-semi-colon clauses, and then says, “Let’s back up a bit,” and writes as if he wants to be backed up a bit.
My other, other point is that Open Your Heart should have been a single, or an EP, because “Turn it Around,” really is a great song, up there with straight-ahead Beatles-influenced punk of Mudhoney, and their songs such as “Burn it Clean,” “Shoot the Moon” and “Pokin’ Around.” But who can eat that much strawberry cheesecake? I mean, the fact that it’s overly epic to an egregious extent would be way more excusable if the band were at least tight, if the drummer came in on time, and were able to embark in the cacophony without rushing the tempo, EVERY TIME. They need Fab Moretti… er, Dan Peters.
The Men release an album desperately wanting an artistic ex-lax, Paste raves, and even calls them comparatively innocent of “trying to make music larger than music itself,” Pitchfork ranks it #30 of the year, and I’m afraid to look at what the Village Voice said about it, for fear of losing my last pillar of actual taste, plus I’m not even sure if they do anything online. “Summer Song” from The Decemberists’ The Crane Wife is a good example of an album’s best song coming late within it, following some relative pandering that ends up insulating and buoying. Sufjan Stevens was the one who said that albums were dead. In my last post, I was thinking off the cuff of my 30 favorite songs from last decade, for an express purpose, and I guess I just forgot about Sufjan Stevens. Sorry Suf! Guess a lot of bands came out with real bitchin’ ALBUMS last decade. I even excluded A.C. Newman’s solo stuff, since I put a Pornos song on there, and I definitely vouch for all the albums from which the songs come.
But then, there are good singles too, and that’s what Open Your Heart should have been, just the first three songs on it. In fact, the best thing Death Cab for Cutie ever did was an EP, it’s the only thing by them I own. Open Door EP. I saw them perform “Little Bribes” on the Conan show in ’09, and it was the best moment for not only Death Cab but also the Conan Show. Moral of the story: listen to Mudhoney, and beware the suck-up critic.

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