Review by: Nina Anatchkova
Album assigned by: Jonathan Moss
The formula of gorgeous jangly music + random dissatisfied lyrics sung in a mostly unfeeling voice has been mined to death by the Smiths, of course (only at least Morrissey knows modulation and expressiveness), and if you add a bit of baroque pop extravaganza in the general spirit of “Golden Brown”, you get the opener “Ride”. In other words, something right at home in the 80s. In fact, the next track deviates only a bit by being a blues shuffle in jangly pop disguise. And then there are more songs. And they are all nice and inoffensive, perfect for college kids, I imagine, lyrically too, probably, but I wouldn’t know that because really the lyrical content fits the melancholic 80s kids aesthetic best when it is perceived as the generic teenage mumbling it is.
You see, if you’re over the age of 20, I doubt that you’d play any of these songs over and over and say, man, this song has so much meaning!!!! No, I imagine “old guns” only using this album as a mood music or the soundtrack to reminiscing of better times — the time when you’re under 20 and a record like this could blow your mind. And with 10 songs clocking at more or less 3 minutes each, it doesn’t overstay its welcome either, so in what I’d say in conclusion is Up For A Bit With the Pastels, “I am alright with you”.