Nada Surf

Lucky (Barsuk)

There's always been something comforting about the music of Nada Surf. Hipper than Coldplay and less distant than Death Cab, band members Matthew Caws, Ira Elliot and Daniel Lorca are capable of creating perfectly crafted three- to five-minute odes to the elusiveness of love. Perfectly content to wallow in melancholy and wistfulness, the songs of Nada Surf offer a pleasant respite from the chaos of the day.

Lucky, the band's fifth effort, isn't that much different from any of Nada Surf's previous releases. Such dissimilarity can either be considered the mark of quality and consistency or a sign of stagnation. Thankfully, Lucky remains true to the band's original vision, while adding enough new details to show off some growth and invention. While "Whose Authority" mines an interesting Guided by Voices vibe, "Beautiful Beat" is more personal, like the textured pop of labelmate John Vanderslice.

"Climbing from overstimulated states," sings Caws on "Weightless" as the band locks in on one of their more furious grooves, threatening to overpower the delicacy of what has come before it. "Behind every desire is another one," adds Caws as the music falls back into the softer ease that is Nada Surf's comfort zone. It's a poignant moment on a record that rarely threatens the status quo, content to ebb and flow within range and reason, comfortable to live up to its title.

 
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