Not many musicians can casually drop a little Ludwig van Beethoven--Opus 27, No. 2, better known as the "Moonlight" sonata--amid a set of (mostly) rock songs. But then, Sparrows front man Carter Albrecht is a different kind of rock-and-roller, and Snowflakes is a different kind of rock-and-roll album. Certainly different from the Sparrows' debut effort, Rock and Roll Days; the title of the disc's first song summed up the band's mission statement at the time: "Rockinrocknroll." Albrecht doesn't tip his hand this time until song No. 6: "I Need to Hear a Quieter Song," which kicks off a softly kick-ass trio of them that leads into the aforementioned bit of Beethoven. Yes, yes, there are plenty of louder songs here, too, among them fist-pumping anthems like "A.M.D.C.T.," "The Dallas Curse" and "Snowflake," the latter propelled by bassist Dave Monsey's Stax/Volt soul searching. And, sure, those are really good. You could prolly even add another "really" in there. But when Albrecht and the band turn it down (such as on "Am I Still Loaded"), that's when the great songs turn up, the songs that are just fine for these rock-and-roll days and even better for the ones that come after them.


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