Life Is Sweet

Life Is Sweet

Drawing comparisons to Orange Juice, the Wedding Present, the Smiths, and Trembling Blue Stars experiencing a winning streak, The Lodger are British “Twee-Pop” brought to thrilling fruition. 2008’s Life Is Sweet is this group’s second album with singer-songwriter Ben Siddall the one consistent member. (Drummer Bruce Renshaw has come and gone and come again.) Siddall writes with clever, thoughtful insight — “The Conversation” offers: “It’s a funny affair, trying to address the people that you don’t care about anymore,” and with this cheeky indifference, Siddall recalls old times and evaluates his acquaintances (“You’re a cruel, cruel girl, but sublime”). With the manic energy of such ‘80s popsters as the Housemartins, the Lodger base their sound on tightly constructed, furiously strummed guitars, carefully linked keyboards, and an occasional stringed instrument or pedal steel. It’s the manic pace of the two-minute “A Year Since Last Summer” that best typifies their approach. Even the moderately paced tunes (“Falling Down,” “Running Low”) retain their groove, never succumbing to languor. Could be Siddall’s a genuine optimist in a world not accustomed to running into many of them.

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