13 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Girls are a pair of San Francisco-based boys — Christopher Owens and Chet “JR” White — and Album is their endearing and unpredictable debut. Much of its appeal lies in how they turn such well-worn styles as West Coast pop (“Laura,” “Summertime”), surf rock (“Big Bad Mean M**********r”), and psychedelia (“Lauren Marie,” “Morning Light,” “Curls”) into something fresh and exciting. Jangly guitars, muted drums, and wondrously woozy production (by White) bounce from spaced-out and disorienting to full-on Beach Boys-style arrangements, complete with hand claps, soaring background singing, and numerous subtle touches. Owens’ vulnerable voice warbles, pops, and changes shape on nearly every song, starting out sounding arrestingly odd on the undeniably catchy opener, “Lust for Life,” soon winning you over with its sincerity. His touching and revealing lyrics are sometimes so naked and raw you feel like you’re intruding, but what saves them from falling into sentimentality is that Owens is clearly more interested in seeking redemption than wallowing in self pity.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Girls are a pair of San Francisco-based boys — Christopher Owens and Chet “JR” White — and Album is their endearing and unpredictable debut. Much of its appeal lies in how they turn such well-worn styles as West Coast pop (“Laura,” “Summertime”), surf rock (“Big Bad Mean M**********r”), and psychedelia (“Lauren Marie,” “Morning Light,” “Curls”) into something fresh and exciting. Jangly guitars, muted drums, and wondrously woozy production (by White) bounce from spaced-out and disorienting to full-on Beach Boys-style arrangements, complete with hand claps, soaring background singing, and numerous subtle touches. Owens’ vulnerable voice warbles, pops, and changes shape on nearly every song, starting out sounding arrestingly odd on the undeniably catchy opener, “Lust for Life,” soon winning you over with its sincerity. His touching and revealing lyrics are sometimes so naked and raw you feel like you’re intruding, but what saves them from falling into sentimentality is that Owens is clearly more interested in seeking redemption than wallowing in self pity.

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