Can we all agree that 2008’s Walk It Off was not as disappointing as the backlash would suggest?
Tapes ‘N Tapes’ first album was certainly better, but Jesus – Walk It Off would barely rate a footnote
in “The Illustrated History of Sophomore Slumps.” Which leads us to an album
clearly meant to generate its share of press declaring Outside Tapes ‘N Tapes’ return to form. And it probably is — a
slight return from a slight disappointment.
Not much of a headline, is it? Any way you slice it, the
self-produced Outside is a good deal
closer to the spirit of their celebrated, blognoscenti-courting coming-out, The Loon. That much is clear from the opening
track, “Badaboom,” the first of several numbers where the arrangement just
keeps taking unexpected turns. Highlights range from the Libertines-esque
leadoff single, “Freak Out,” to the soulful, post-Bob Dylan swagger of the
Hammond B-3 organ-rocking “The Saddest of All Keys.” And while they clearly put
their share of thought and effort into making this as interesting as possible,
it’s just as clear that these guys know their way around a pop hook and you’ll
find no shortage of those hooks here.
Out,” “The Saddest of All Keys” A. WATT