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Artist: Dolour 
Label: Fugitive Recordings
Length: 11 tracks / 38:29

Dolour (“That is the band name.’s not really a band, it’s just one guy,” according to the back panel of the disc) embodies the dork-rock charm of Weezer and Beck but flashes the pop brilliance of Matthew Sweet, Brian Wilson and Semisonic. Shane Tutmarc, aided much by the radiant production of Aaron Sprinkle (Poor Old Lu, Rose Blossom Punch), constructs a fanciful, deceivingly shallow album that reveals more tasty layers with each listen. With clever (though at times senseless) lyrical loops and well-crafted melodies, this album showcases Tutmarc’s mastery of pop sounds and stylings. Fans of The Elms, Pete Yorn and Aaron Sprinkle’s solo work be advised: Suburbiac goes down real easy, like Kool-Aid. You'll dig it.

There are only three weaknesses of this album: 1) The “going-nowhere” lyrics (a line from “So Done With You” might explain: “I’m in need of a vacation in the sun / My nails grew short over the summer / But I took it out in writing songs no one could understand”), 2) Tutmarc’s “wait-a-minute-is-this-actually-Aaron-Sprinkle?” vocals (which is actually a boon, if you’re already a fan of Sprinkle), and 3) The cover--a WAY TOO CLOSE UP shot of Tutmarc’s boyish face...none of which ultimately endangers the sunny-day cool of Suburbiac.

Greg Adams 1/12/03


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