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Indoor Living

4.0 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 25, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

Indoor Living is about domestication: The taming and training of human beings to inhabit each others' lives, during which a certain amount of blood is spilled. But anyone can write a break-up record, anyone can color in a broken heart all black. It takes a more sophisticated eye to find the light and perfect moments that happen even when we wish they didn't, and Indoor Living is a scrapbook of those moments.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 25, 2014)
  • Reissue Reis ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Merge Records
  • ASIN: B00HR6RCM4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,097 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
On their 6th album proper, Superchunk continues to mature while still holding onto much of the energy of their earliest efforts. The most "experimental" of their discs, Indoor Living includes incorporation of some audible organ parts (as opposed to the slight dabbling on "Here's Where the Strings Come In") and more toying with odd time signatures. Don't be misled by those words, though - this is still an indie rock/pop record , and accessible from the first listen. However, much like "Foolish" was a big step out that came together with earlier work on "Strings" I think this record will be more of an influence on the next record than a complete change in style. In fact, I've heard some new Superchunk songs live, and they sound much closer to the type of music on "Strings" than on this album. I'm very much looking forward to the new record.
Note that this record contains "Watery Hands", a song I consider to be one of Superchunk's best ever. If you can, though, get the "Watery Hands" single, since it has, in my opinion, a better mix of the song.
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From what I've read, Indoor Living is generally considered secondary to much of Superchunk's earlier output, but in my opinion this is a very strong album that reflects the sound present in their other very good albums of the late '90's, Come Pick Me Up and Here's to Shutting Up. Less punky than the likes of No Pocky for Kitty and Here's to Shutting Up, Indoor Living is mature yet fresh, with a smoother sound. Songs like "European Medicine" and "Burn Last Sunday" are catchy in typical Superchunk fashion, while "Nu Bruises" and "The Popular Music" retain their typical energy.
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Format: Audio CD
For a band that has been accused of never changing their sound (and lauded for the same), Indoor Living signals an attempt at adding depth to the Superchunk sound. The immediate difference being the addition of keyboards to the mix. The keyboards add warmth and fuzz to a great sounding album. They stand out particularly on "Marquee" adding harmony to Mac's falsetto vocals and adding scree and confusion to the "noise" break in the song. There are some laid back songs here as well as the uptempo pop they helped define. "Nu Bruises" shines as an instant standard. At the Lounge Ax show where i bought the album the crowd was already yelling requests for this brand new song. "Popular Music" is the great story of Merge and all underground labels as Mac sings: "I've got my ear to the ground and i'm listenin' for you." One of my favorites on the album is the slower "Song for Marion Brown." Mac being into the avant garde, this song details the frustration that may have befallen the relatively unknown sax player who played with John Coltrane. There is definitely a maturity in the songwriting and it is also reflected in the album production. I love many Superchunk albums but this album remains one of my favorites for that reason. I think the drum sound they got at Echo Park (Bloomington, IN) is by far the best on any of their albums. All in all one of my faves. 4 and half *'s
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Format: Audio CD
Coming two years after the exciting and energetic 'Here's Where the Stings Come In' 'Indoor Living' kicks off in a slower gear immediately and never really kicks back up the the level of 'Strings' or 1994's 'Foolish.'
Which is not to say that it's a bad record, just different. History has shown this is a key record in 'Chunk's transition from a scream to a whisper that would make 'Come Pick Me Up' such a GREAT record.
First the highlights: the band SOUNDS great, guitars chime when the need too and fuzz when they need to and Mac's vocals aren't buried in the middle of all the guitars and things. There is space between the instruments which makes this record breathe a little more [kind of like the difference between inhaling a dinner and relaxing and enjoying a meal.] Even on the fast and slightly noisy "Nu Bruises" you can hear all the instruments pretty clearly. The band also uses synthesizers and uses them tastefully.
Now the downside: some of the songs are only OK and a lot sound like mid period REM. "Marquee" [track three] continues the slow grind of the first side when the side really needs a kick in the behind and it sounds like a half finshed idea. The side is slightly rescued by the next track, "Watery Hands" and the afforementioned "Nu Bruises" but they slide into the slow REM-like arpeggiating again on "Every Single Instinct." And "Under Our Feet" three songs later sounds like another 'Life's Rich Pagent' era toss off. And the album ending 'Martinis on the Roof' is one of the most under-realized tracks in the 'Chunk catalog in spite of some interesting vibraphone playing in there [think the Stones "Under My Thumb".
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Format: Audio CD
Indoor living is an amazing album. After one time through, the listener is picking up on the poppy lyrics and singing along. This album is one of the better indie releases this year, and this group from Chapel Hill shows no sign of slowing.
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