Art of Losing

Art of Losing

5.0 24
by American Hi-Fi
     
 

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Former '90s alt.rock utility man Stacy Jones brings the gleaming steel wool of his American Hi-Fi out of the box once again with The Art of Losing. The album arrives after a curious live offering, which seemed to exist solely as an opportunity for Jones to fulfill a Live at Budokan fantasy. Nevertheless, fans of the 2001See more details below

Overview

Former '90s alt.rock utility man Stacy Jones brings the gleaming steel wool of his American Hi-Fi out of the box once again with The Art of Losing. The album arrives after a curious live offering, which seemed to exist solely as an opportunity for Jones to fulfill a Live at Budokan fantasy. Nevertheless, fans of the 2001 hit "Flavor of the Weak" will find The Art of Losing and its title track lead single worthy follow-ups. It's appropriate that "The Art of Losing"'s slick, reconstituted punk jerk found its way into a Coors Light ad -- its chants of "Hey ho/Let's go/I'm gonna start a riot" and "One two/F*ck you/Don't tell me what to do" take the packaging of punk for mass consumption to macrobrewery levels. Impossibly, the similarly processed grit of "The Breakup Song" is a straight-up knockoff of blink-182's "First Date." Jones includes another name-drop of Cheap Trick here, too; the production inserts handclaps, layer after layer of harmony vocals, and the thousand-foot-high guitar tone typical of songs mixed for radio. In fact, this is the sound that guides both Losing and American Hi-Fi, a band that's been designed and built for success in three-minute increments. "Nothing Left to Lose" splices played-out hip-hop phrasing ("Holla back y'all," "All the bitches in the back") into smarmy Jackson Browne and Undertones references as the guitars chug and ring referentially; "Teenage Alien Nation" and "Beautiful Disaster" feature more bombastic riffery and meticulously placed potty mouth from Jones. Elsewhere there are the requisite ballads ("Save Me" and "This Is the Sound" -- think a louder Goo Goo Dolls), but The Art of Losing is rounded out mostly by a jumble of F-words, cheeky pop culture references, name-drops (Built to Spill? My Bloody Valentine? Mentioning them doesn't put you in the same league), and more buzzing 21st century new alternative rock helped out considerably by production chicanery. American Hi-Fi truly is the flavor of the week.

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Editorial Reviews

Spin Magazine - Christian Hoard
Only a snob could hate these 11 songs, which wear their bright, adrenalized grooves, lucid melodies, and arena-ready choruses the way the Hi-Fi boys wear their vintage Poison T-shirts: proudly and without a shred of irony. (7)
Blender - Ann Powers
Cute but not too sugary, smart but not too brainy, [band leader Stacy] Jones's songs practically define pop-punk

Product Details

Release Date:
02/25/2003
Label:
Island
UPC:
0044006365725
catalogNumber:
063657
Rank:
211481

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