12 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Four years after their first project together, Jon Foreman and Sean Watkins reconvene for Fiction Family Reunion. Newly recruited bassist Tyler Chester and drummer Aaron Redfield help flesh out the combo’s sound, letting Foreman (Switchfoot’s frontman) and Watkins (Nickel Creek’s renowned former guitarist) fully realize their musical ideas. There’s plenty of stylistic experimentation here, ranging from rootsy folk rock and progressive bluegrass to semi-psychedelic excursions. “Just Rob Me” (a galloping country tune about an inept female bandit) and “Reality Calls” (a jazz/pop daydream complete with whistling) reflect the band’s whimsical side, while “Avalon” and “Fools’ Gold” suggest The Beatles and The Band. Lyrically, the songs are smart, wry, and compassionate, whether extolling love over religious dogma (“God Badge,” “Guilt”) or confessing inner weakness and torment (“Damaged,” ”Monster”). “Give Me Back My Girl” tosses in a mainstream indie rock element for good measure. The musicianship is impeccable throughout, with Watkins dishing out tasty guitar solos over layered harmonies and quirky sonic textures.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Four years after their first project together, Jon Foreman and Sean Watkins reconvene for Fiction Family Reunion. Newly recruited bassist Tyler Chester and drummer Aaron Redfield help flesh out the combo’s sound, letting Foreman (Switchfoot’s frontman) and Watkins (Nickel Creek’s renowned former guitarist) fully realize their musical ideas. There’s plenty of stylistic experimentation here, ranging from rootsy folk rock and progressive bluegrass to semi-psychedelic excursions. “Just Rob Me” (a galloping country tune about an inept female bandit) and “Reality Calls” (a jazz/pop daydream complete with whistling) reflect the band’s whimsical side, while “Avalon” and “Fools’ Gold” suggest The Beatles and The Band. Lyrically, the songs are smart, wry, and compassionate, whether extolling love over religious dogma (“God Badge,” “Guilt”) or confessing inner weakness and torment (“Damaged,” ”Monster”). “Give Me Back My Girl” tosses in a mainstream indie rock element for good measure. The musicianship is impeccable throughout, with Watkins dishing out tasty guitar solos over layered harmonies and quirky sonic textures.

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