CD Review of Lucky by Nada Surf
Recommended if you like
Augustana, The Fray, Pete Yorn
Label
Barsuk
Nada Surf: Lucky

Reviewed by Mike Farley

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N
ada Surf has enjoyed a rebirth of sorts during the last few years. The band’s 2005 album, The Weight Is a Gift, was downright stunning, leaving fans to wonder if they could ever equal it. Well, the answer is a resounding YES. Lucky is the latest from the New York indie alt-pop trio, and it’s pretty much a continuation of their previous effort. Nada Surf has figured out the formula to writing great pop songs that cross over from mainstream coffeehouse appeal to beer-soaked indie charm with relative ease. Who says you can’t mix caffeine and alcohol, anyway? Those of you who like Jager-bombs are nodding in agreement, but Lucky can do the rest of the talking here.

“See These Bones” is the leadoff hitter and first single, and it recalls the beauty of “Always Love,” but with syncopated rhythms that make the verse and chorus separate nicely. “Whose Authority” is a crunching indie rock number, and “Beautiful Beat” displays the kind of melodic brilliance that Nada Surf is known for. The band also shows a slow, tender side on tracks like “Are You Lightning?” and “The Film Did Not Go ‘Round.” But the best track of all is “Weightless,” with its swirling guitars and vocal harmonies wrapped around powerful hooks. Add the band’s entry from the John Tucker Must Die soundtrack, “I Like What You Say,” and you’ve got another winning formula from Nada Surf.

It’s easy to get lost among all of the music being released these days, even if you have a track record like Nada Surf. And sometimes you have to re-invent yourself to gain new fans and keep the other ones interested. For these ears, Nada Surf has done all that the right way. Mostly, though, they just keep writing really great, interesting songs. Call it a sign that all is right with the musical world. Indeed, 2008 is already off to a great start.

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