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Dye It Blonde

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 18, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Minimalist-inspired, vintage pop. For fans of The Zombies, Jimmy Buffet and Jackie Deshannon

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Weekend
  2. Still New
  3. Imagine Pt. 3
  4. All Die Young
  5. Fallen in Love
  6. End of the Night
  7. Only One
  8. Smile
  9. Dance Away
  10. Dye The World


Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 18, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fat Possum
  • ASIN: B004E9YBW6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,738 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
One of the best, and easily one of the most underrated bands of the past twenty years is Teenage Fanclub, a Byrds-inspired pop band that took a simple love of melody and elevated it to alternative music heights. Pop songwriters at heart who know how to provide an edge. Being a huge fan of that band, I was thrilled to find myself comparing- favorably- the Smith Western's "Dye It Blonde" to some of Teenage Fanclub's best.
From the opening pop gem "Weekend", a dumb but catchy number, through to the closing "Dye the World ", the Smith Westerns balance economical yet hummable guitar riffs with soaring vocals, while the dependable rhythm section pounds away like an overeager 60's rock band. "Fallen In Love" rocks with such a youthful innocence that it would have worked on the Beatles' "Rubber Soul", especially thanks to the short burst of George Harrison sounding guitar which amounts to a solo; only to be followed by "End of the Night", which is not too far from the Bay City Rollers "S.A.T.U.R.D.A.Y. Night" in its ability to ignite a sense of unadulterated pop giddiness. "Dance Away" runs through several different genres in under three minutes, highlighted by a K.C. and the Sunshine Band inspired, bass driven groove.
Basically, every song evokes connections with other bands without coming off as derivative or as imitators. This is a fun, exciting album that seems to get better with each listen, and while the Smith Westerns don't seem to be wanting to break any new ground, what they are doing with the previously tread upon ground is highly catch and worth a listen.
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Format: MP3 Music
The only people that aren't going to listen to this and think, 'T Rex' are people who haven't heard T Rex. So often when bands take up the mantle of a great artist, they end up with a sad facsimile. But that isn't what Smith Westerns do. They start out with great songs, and then color them with the Marc Bolan brush in a way that makes them sound special, rather than derivative.

And if you have heard their earlier stuff, you will be surprised by how much they have cleaned up their sound. Gone is the "put reverb on everything" approach they took in the past.

This is the perfect album to get you through the winter, and you will likely listen all summer as well.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Smith Westerns are a trio who believe in fuzzy guitars and giddy pop energy. They have been listening to some great bands, but they haven't yet synthesized those beloved sounds into a unique identity. Still, when bands like the Byrds, Teenage Fanclub, the Beatles, and Supergrass come to mind, at least Smith Westerns have good taste and the potential to amalgamate their influences into their own thing. This is great car or party music. It's frothy, fizzy fun. I liked this second album, but it really made me look forward to their third.
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Format: Audio CD
Potent & poppy 2nd album from Chicago band keeps the post-glam indie style from their debut
with a bouncy Bolan-esque feel; while adding some big, epic, swirly mid-tempo melodies, a bit of
classic 60s sensibility and seriously upping the production values. It's a place where addictive
pop hooks shine & harmonies abound with a fresh, youthful energy. Reminiscent of T. Rex, Free
Energy, Beatles, Teenage Fan Club, Nikki Sudden, Nobunny.
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Format: MP3 Music
This album is simply fun. The Smith Westerns may not be the most original band I've ever heard, but they have a clear and defined sound -- owing a lot to that guitar tone -- and they know how to write some good pop/rock hooks. It drags a bit towards the end, but it's worth checking out. Try the first track - it's catchy and fun, and if you like it, you'll like the rest.
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Format: Audio CD
Smith Westerns exude a youthful exuberance reminiscent of early Supergrass, who were also teenagers when their first few albums were released. This might turn away some potential listeners, but it shouldn't. I remind myself that Paul Weller--the leader of my personal favorite band--was 19 years old when The Jam's second album was released. The oldest member of Smith Westerns is probably about that age now, and this band is also on its second album.

Dye It Blonde sounds like an album by a group of younger-than-twenty-somethings, but not necessarily ones who were born in the early 90s. Smith Westerns sound as though they listened more to their parents' LPs than to their own CDs or MP3s.

Musically, rambunctious guitars and swirling organs give the songs a sturdy backbone. The lyrics on the album are never particularly deep, but are sometimes deceptively shallow. I mean that as a compliment. The lyrics to The New Pornographers' "Letter From an Occupant" are mostly stupid, but Neko Case delivers them so convincingly that one cannot help but forgive them and sing along. Something similar can be said for songs like "All Die Young", on which lead singer Cullen Omori clearly has something meaningful to say even if he cannot find the strongest enough words to say it.

If nothing else, listeners should admire Dye It Blonde for its consistency. "Weekend", the first track, is enjoyable but kind of dumb. However, all of the songs from "Still New" (track #2) to "Smile" (track #8) are pretty darn good, and equally so. If you like one of them, you will probably like them all. This is not to mention "Dye the World", which ends the album on a more assuring note than the song preceding it--the trite "Dance Away"--would have.
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