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Family of the Year: Family of the Year *

Track List

>Make You Mine
>Carry Me
>We Need Love
>May I Miss You
>Give a Little
>Blue Jean Girl
>Dead Poets
>Dance, The
>Hey Kid

Album Notes

An unabashedly sentimental amalgamation of hook-laden, Fleetwood Mac-inspired big studio rock, Essex Green-, Shins-, and Posies-blasted power pop, and breezy West Coast folk-rock, Family of the Year's eponymous third studio album is as tooth decay-inducing and precious as it is simply delectable. The Los Angeles-based retro-pop/rock outfit struck gold in 2012 when "Hero," the sweet and wistful centerpiece of their sophomore effort Loma Vista, found its way into the equally nostalgic and heartfelt Richard Linklater film Boyhood. Comprised of brothers Joseph and Sebastian Keefe, Christina Schroeter, and James Buckley, the quartet's knack for crafting earworms out of well-worn pop tropes delivered via vintage male/female harmonies hasn't dulled the third time around, with strong radio- and movie-trailer-friendly gems like "Give a Little" and "Make You Mine," the latter of which suggests what a Laurel Canyon version of the Killers might have sounded like, while the former might as well have been a lost Buckingham-led Mac jam from the Mirage sessions. The propulsive "Facepaint" and the folksy, Byrds- and Avett Brothers-esque anthem "Carry Me" impress as well, with hooks galore and strong vocal takes from the whole crew. In fact, there's little to not recommend about Family of the Year, especially for fans of the genre, as it delivers on nearly every level (slick production, accessible lyrics, and familiar melodies), and does so without the slightest trace of pretense. What it lacks in innovation, it more than makes up for in heart. ~ James Christopher Monger


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