Saturday, October 29, 2005

Review: Oranger, New Comes And Goes

San Francisco underground indie pop heroes Oranger are back with their latest wonderful album doomed to obscurity thanks to an utterly ignorant listening public.

Oh, shit, sorry, I'm in one of those moods. Should I try again?

Oranger are back with another wonderful (if not exactly groundbreaking) album of radio-friendly pop... if we lived in an alternate universe where good music still got played on the radio.

Better? No, probably not.

Moving on... Oranger have drifted through a variety of indie pop stylings, largely derivative of umpteen other bands but with just enough clever tunes to keep me coming back for more. While earlier albums saw them trying an edgy Flaming Lips-influenced style, then a more mod-influenced Who/Creation-tinged style (with some XTC overtones), and more recently a more Brian Wilson-styled lush pop sound, 2005's New Comes And Goes seems to find the band trying their hand at New Wave-era pop, reeking of late 70's/early 80's alt-poppers like Shoes and 20/20 (but with more guitars and fewer synths). To their credit, the disc nonetheless sounds fresh and instantly contagious. Again, not enough new twists to give Oranger a distinctive sound, but energetically riffing on the right influences can be good enough for an enjoyable listen. To some extent, they seem to be drinking from the same well as Fountains of Wayne, albeit with a bit less wit and heart, but there's really no good reason the Fountains should be rising from indie pop obscurity while Oranger isn't. Bottom line -- good album, certainly should be high on the must-buy list for anyone who has ever bought a Yellow Pills compilation or misses the days when the Cars were actually fairly cool.


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