12 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tripper, the Bats’ fifth LP since 2001, stays the folk-pop course for the most part, but ultimately puts more emphasis on “pop” and slightly less on “folk.” It’s a wonderfully summery collection with a number of songs that stick in your throat long after the music has stopped. Johnson’s sweet falsetto is a thing of beauty on the soulful “You’re Too Weird” (as embarrassing as it might be, you will attempt to sing along and hit those keening high notes -- even when it’s over), and his silky, limber undulating is equally addictive on “So Long.” There’s a hint of the sugary side of ‘70s radio pop -- bands like Bread, and 10cc come to mind -- but on tracks like the poignant break-up tune, “The Banishment Song,” there is a dark emotional undertow pulling at the ringing piano notes and subdued guitar; it billows in the open spaces and threatens to blow Johnson’s delicate, blue-eyed soul sighs into the wind. But most tunes capture that middle ground between breezy pop and country-tinged folk, and Tripper is another fine marker in Fruit Bats’ musical trajectory.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tripper, the Bats’ fifth LP since 2001, stays the folk-pop course for the most part, but ultimately puts more emphasis on “pop” and slightly less on “folk.” It’s a wonderfully summery collection with a number of songs that stick in your throat long after the music has stopped. Johnson’s sweet falsetto is a thing of beauty on the soulful “You’re Too Weird” (as embarrassing as it might be, you will attempt to sing along and hit those keening high notes -- even when it’s over), and his silky, limber undulating is equally addictive on “So Long.” There’s a hint of the sugary side of ‘70s radio pop -- bands like Bread, and 10cc come to mind -- but on tracks like the poignant break-up tune, “The Banishment Song,” there is a dark emotional undertow pulling at the ringing piano notes and subdued guitar; it billows in the open spaces and threatens to blow Johnson’s delicate, blue-eyed soul sighs into the wind. But most tunes capture that middle ground between breezy pop and country-tinged folk, and Tripper is another fine marker in Fruit Bats’ musical trajectory.

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