Gang of Losers
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Gang of Losers
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Exclusive US release contains three bonus tracks, 'The Highest', 'Whites Only Party' and 'There Goes My Outfit' (Acoustic Version). 2006 release from this loose collective of Montreal-area musicians led by the charismatic Murray Lightburn, who combine cabaret-style vocals with moody, intense orchestral Pop/Rock. 12 tracks including the first single 'Ticket To Immortality'. Arts and Crafts Records.
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The album begins with a somber, synth-driven, introduction (here known as "Synthro") which leads suddenly into "Ticket to Immortality," one of The Dears' finest songs to date. Murray Lightburn, the mastermind behind The Dears is in top form on this song, especially during the chorus, where he wails "I hang out with all the pariahs!" or at the coda where he declares "The world is really gonna love you!" And while these may not be the most poignant of lyrics, Lightburn presents them with such passion and honesty that it's hard not to enjoy every moment of the song.
The album then moves along rather nicely, with songs like "Hate Then Love" and "Bandwagoneers" standing out. The latter song begins rather simply, but then in typical Dears fashion, it explodes into an emotionally-charged coda where Lightburn exclaims "Heaven knows that I'm a fake! Heaven knows that we're all faking it!" Here, his enchanting voice breaks down and he shouts these lines with such animalistic sincerity that it's almost frightening, but undeniably moving. It is, by far, my favorite moment on the album.
"You and I are a Gang of Losers" is another fantastic song, and one of the most touching tracks on the album. However, the album reaches it's climax at "Ballad of Humankindness," where Lightburn laments "No one should have to live all of their life on their own." The song manages to capture Lightrburn's heart, or at least what he would have us to believe of it. More importantly, however, it is the best track on the album and, quite honestly, one of the year's best songs.
From there, the album closes nicely with "I Fell Deep" and "Find our Way to Freedom" (The U.S. Version has a few bonus tracks, but none are worthy of noting). By the time the album is finished, it's nearly impossible to not have affected in some way or another. The Dears are a band whose sound is so universally appealing that to call it anything but a masterpiece would be a travesty. "Gang of Losers" is beautiful, touching, powerful, and even fun at times. For an album that's almost entirely about not fitting in, that's quite an achievement.
Recommended for fans of The Dears, and anyone who's interested in hearing one of the best bands in indie rock today.
1. "Ticket to Immortality"
2. "There Goes My Outfit"
4. "You and I are a Gang of Losers"
5. "Ballad of Humankindness"
4 out of 5 Stars
Gang of Losers is no exception: some great songs, some okay songs. If you liked the other albums, you'll like this one -- probably just as much.
I loved it!
While the theme of ostracization prevails throughout most of the album, it does not drag and turn into a redundant and painful tale of complaint and negativity. Lightburn and his crew are able to turn things around through a catchy tune here and there, ending up with a positive outlook as the album comes to a close with the epic "Find Our Way To Freedom". The result is a musical work that retains a certain timeless feel to it (musically), while it still is quite timely in its messaging, turning it without a doubt into one of the best albums to have been released in 2006.
If you like earnest, thoughtful lyrics (sung by a singer who can actually sing) combined with memorable melodies, these are The Dears. Fans of Blur's Think Tank, Morissey, Coldplay, Procol Harum and Decemberists should enjoy this disc.