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Bored Nothing: Some Songs *

Album Notes

Bored Nothing's first album was a collection of songs Fergus Miller recorded in his bedroom over a period of years, while the band's second album, Some Songs, is an actual recorded-in-a-studio album that was conceived as such. Anyone worried that the move out of the bedroom or the album construct might wreck the ultra-slack, totally '90s introspective indie rock thing Miller had nearly perfected will be glad to know that not only does Some Songs sound like an improved version of said approach, but it definitely works as an album. With a fair balance of hissy ballads that sound like they were recorded with Elliott Smith's ghost perched on his shoulder and shambling pop songs that have sneaky big hooks, the album has a nice, relaxed flow and depth that represent a step forward in every way. Sure, a little bit of the rambling innocence on display on the first album has been cast aside in favor of a bit of world-weariness, but that's to be expected as Miller grows up. To make up for this, he adds a few new twists to Bored Nothing's sounds, like the skittering drum machines and swoony synths on the bouncy pop tune "We Lied" and some new wave dynamics on the noisy "Come Back To." It feels like he gave a little more thought to arrangements and sound overall, taking advantage of the studio to make the songs sound bigger and more radio-ready -- if radio were ready for songs as slacker-y as these. Well, maybe the laid-back charmer "Ice-Cream Dreams" might fit there; the jangling "Do What You Want, Always" too. Radio be damned, because most of the uptempo songs have sharp enough hooks and an inviting enough sound to appeal to all those who want their indie rock weird, melancholy, and rambling, but still punchy enough to stick deep in the brain. Throw in a few wrenching ballads to really get the tears flowing, and Some Songs really hits hard. Call it a strong step forward from an artist who already staked out a pretty strong claim as one of the best '90s revampers around. ~ Tim Sendra



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