Plumbiferous Media

Be My Thrill – The Weepies

Sep 9th 2010
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Be My Thrill - The WeepiesThe Weepies
Be My Thrill
Score: 55

Founded in Cambridge, Mass., indie band The Weepies have been active since 2001, and on the Nettwerk label for much of that time. Their newest and fourth album, Be My Thrill was released at the end of last month. Be My Thrill is certainly a unique album, although it is not a particularly good one. Be My Thrill is, in fact, half-bad.

The album is a very odd combination of overly diverse and very cohesive. Every track is a new experience, to the point where many really don’t have anything to do with any of the others, but at the same time, the instrumentation changes such a small degree that the fundamental sound of the album remains somewhat constant. Even while the album constantly changes tone, guitar and bass plod along very much unchanged. The end result is really a worst of both worlds scenario. The album doesn’t make much sense as a whole, but at the same time, it could have done better with significantly more experimentation.

The other big problem with Be My Thrill is in the recording. Simply put, it really doesn’t do the guitar justice (although the bass fares significantly better), and the percussion sounds, quite frankly, terrible. After this many releases with Nettwerk, it’s hard to think of a legitimate reason for why everything sounds so incredibly canned. Really, the only relief is in the many tracks that are musically engaging enough to allow the listener to more or less ignore the absolutely miserable production values.

Talan and Tannen share both writing and singing duties on Be My Thrill. Their voices are surprisingly similar – clearly not so much that they could be confused – but the two singers share a soft, calm tone that fits their laid back approach to music well. Talan and Tannen switch between harmonies, alternation, and solo sections, but whatever the approach, the result is generally quite similar. This single approach isn’t excellent for variation across Be My Thrill, but The Weepies do that approach well enough that it doesn’t get especially dull at any point.

Befittingly for an album by a band named The Weepies, many of Be My Thrill‘s lyrics are quite sentimental. That’s not a particularly bad thing, though, especially as The Weepies do sentimental pretty well. Between the simple but poignant “When I’m gone / Please speak well of me” and the less simple (but certainly more amusing) “Don’t know why you do the things you do, do, do / Holdin’ it together with some glue, glue, glue / Favorite color isn’t red it’s blue, blue, blue / No one knows / A red red rose,” The Weepies, occasional weak sections and over-reliance on repetition notwithstanding, manage to write solid lyrics.

Be My Thrill is a decent album. Unfortunately, it’s neither varied nor consistent enough to be much more than that. That’s not to say that it’s bad – it’s musically solid and interesting for the larger part of its length. The problem, then, is that Be My Thrill feels like a very long, drawn out album, even though it really isn’t. To that end, neither the length nor the content is a selling point – though that still doesn’t prevent Be My Thrill from being semi-decent.

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