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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