Songs for Staying in Original recording, EP, CD
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Sincere and effortlessly charming, Songs For Staying In is soulful 27-minute rendition of love, sex and those soft rock pop melodies that call for intimate affection. Lead by front man Taylor Glen Muse and his friend, Austin-based Quiet Company`s new EP is the kind of record that only takes one listen to fall in love for. With smooth pop ballads like `If You Want' and `Jezebel' that incorporate longing honest vocals, playful electronic guitar riffs and plucks, and moving piano chords, the EP create a perfect enviroment for calling off work and staying in for the rest of the morning.
Not all is soft and slow. Instrumentally rich tracks like `Things You Already Know' and `How Do You Do It' serve as glorious rock anthems for the loved, the wicked and the wickedly in love, with bigger than life sounding songs that still remain grounded to a romantic overtone.
The Music Ninja does not `rate' albums but I definitely give these collection of songs two thumbs up, and if it wasnt so gross, I would raise both my toes as well. Highly recommended and highly enjoyable, Songs For Staying In has not only made impression on my 2010 favorite lists of albums, but it has also gotten me excited to see what Quiet Company has stored for us in the future. A band to watch and a delicate rock/pop EP to check out. -- www.themusicninja.com
Love songs are perhaps the most prevalent staple in music. The sometimes too obvious subject has produced some of the greatest (and worst) songs of all time, driving many great artists' catalogues. Still, love songs can easily toe the line between endearing and cheesy. The thought of a syrupy, six-song EP could automatically bar some listeners, but to it's credit, Quiet Company's Songs For Staying In isn't a late night infomercial holdover compilation of yesteryear love songs. The EP bends the usual parameters, avoiding clichés both lyrically and musically in their sophomore release. Although the songs flirt with the typical, Quiet Company's smart composition and variance gives a fresh take on a timeless topic.
Quiet Company never fully embraces the prototypical sunshiney romance in Songs For Staying In. Rather than violins and crooning or gleeful adorations, the songs' tone is less fussy. The marching type beat of opening track "How Do You Do It" begins the song in an almost foreboding way. The guitar and drum tap lead in quickly lets down its guard, lapsing into a sweeping, shouting chorus lead by singer and guitarist Taylor Muse that could still ignite a sing-a-long. Even when the song starts to edge on the giddy, a suggestive undertone brings everything back to earth. "If You Want" takes on the same musical attitude, beginning seriously but showing a lighter side. If anything, the track is a love story between the piano and guitar. Starting in unison the two weave in an out together, finally finishing each other's musical lines in echoes.
Quiet Company base themselves fairly squarely in intricate power pop, and their Golden Bear-esque energy is checked by careful control. The band has the natural sense of where the songs should peak, and isn't all power chord frenzies, either. "Things You Already Know" draws from slight 1950s radio sensibilities. A dreamy flute line leads in, coupled with sleepy horns for the chorus that rise in heartfelt pop jubilation. "Hold My Head Above Water," a country-tinged duet, changes the band's direction yet again, taking cues from vintage, saccharine-laced indie romance. The interplay between Muse and his wife, Leah, is not surprisingly quite natural and sincere, so that even lines like "I've never known any other that could make me feel so blessed" don't come off as too trite or cheesy.
Evolving yet again into an almost country-gospel style for "The Biblical Sense of the Word," Quiet Company brings punchy piano lines and a wailing organ into the mix. The song may be the one that threatens most to careen off the naively romantic cliff, but musically counters with enough interesting juxtaposition and movement to forgive the attempted "Hey Jude"-esque ending of "We make our lives worth living when we love each other." The tune also finds some reconciliation on the album in balancing the unexpected break-up turn of "Jezebel, or `A Song About My Friend and that Whore he Dated.'" Judging by the title alone, one might expect the song to veer sharply from the other subjects, but even this cut has a hopeful look into the future after a rather whiny build up, focusing on the self rather than a situation. The song ends with a suitable distorted guitar rant, adding to the sophisticated pop vibe.
Songs For Staying In achieves the delicate balance between captivating love songs and sickening school-boy lust. The subject, although slightly limiting lyrically, doesn't inhibit their catchy constructions, and given more exploration with their writing, their innovative style would become more apparent and justify their rising local popularity. -- www.austinsound.net