Taking their cues from '80s synth pop, new wave, and the bedroom electronica of the Postal Service, Paper Route make their full-length debut with Absence, an album whose quiet grandeur is strikingly reminiscent of Stars of Track and Field's Centuries Before Love and War. At its strongest, Paper Route's twittering, textured music is both melodically and structurally engaging, its riffs flanked by electronic blips and speaker-to-speaker pans that help widen the band's palette. Lead-off track "Enemy Among Us" is one of the album's strongest, a nuanced fusion of piano, echoing percussion, and harmonized vocals that aptly jumpstarts Absence despite its midtempo gait. Elsewhere, the band peppers the track list with speedy laptop anthems, from "Last Time" (whose stadium-sized guitars give way to a disjointed rhythmic bridge) to the gauzy soundscapes of "Carousel." Tracks like "Be Healed" are too overzealous in their retro atmospherics, however, with vocalists J.T. Daly and Andy Smith attempting a seductive, Prince-styled falsetto that ends up sounding more karaoke than commanding. Similar missteps plague "Gutter" and "Dance on Our Graves," the latter of which features entire choruses sung in fervent falsetto, but Absence's strengths often outweigh those errors, making this album a perfectly adequate destination for fans of technicolor, atmospheric pop.
Performance CreditsPaper Route Primary Artist
Katie Herzig Background Vocals
Chad Howat Synthesizer,Bass,Piano,Sampling,Mellotron,Synthesizer Bass,Group Member
Andy Smith Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Slide Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar,Group Member
Gavin McDonald Cymbals,Drums,Tambourine,Group Member
JT Daly Cello,Vocals,Background Vocals,Sampling,Sampled Guitar,Group Member
Technical CreditsTony Hoffer Producer
Chad Howat Programming,Engineer,String Arrangements
Andy Smith Contributor
David Paul Campbell String Arrangements,String Conductor
JT Daly String Arrangements,Art Direction
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Absence based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Great cd from start to finish. Electronic/Rock that goes from slow to upbeat and anywhere in between. The 3 EPs before this full length are great and this album does Not fall short at all. Easily one of the best releases of 2009.