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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

So Much For The City

The Thrills

2003

So Much For The City
Album Summary

So Much for the City is the debut album of the Irish indie/pop band The Thrills. It was released on 27 May 2003 and quickly achieved success in Ireland, spending 61 weeks in the top 75 of the Irish Albums Chart. The album also won 'Album of the Year' at the national music awards. In an interview, lead singer Conor Deasy explained the band's inspiration for the song material: Those songs are our ways of picking us up because we were kind of miserable. We were dropped by our label. And the towns are put [in the songs] as a way of escapism, as opposed to documenting little tales about what happened when we went there. When we put in a title like "Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far)," it would literally pick us up a bit. The album was nominated for the 2003 Mercury Prize but lost to Dizzee Rascal's Boy in da Corner. The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. The song "Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far)" was ranked by Q Magazine at number 550 on their list of the 1001 best songs ever made. The song "Say It Ain't So" appeared on US President George W. Bush's iPod in 2005.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.85

Votes

9865

Genres

  • Rock

Reviews

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Sun Aug 06 2023
3

Cute early 2000s indie. I do not have my copy of the 1001 Albums book on hand but I can bet this didn’t last more than one edition

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Sat Aug 05 2023
2

Oh Jesus, now it’s Irish indie pop on a Friday, like damn dude. This project has my total commitment but I’m truly feeling let down by the horrendously disproportionate ratio of hundreds of nonsense non-special records to the very few and far between actual legit epic bangers. Something truly worthy next please?? Please!

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Mon Aug 07 2023
4

Really dug this one. It's one of the few albums that was as advertised - a 60s-inspired band releasing music in the early 2000s. What's not to love?

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Thu Sep 28 2023
4

Very chill album. If the guy had a better falsetto, would be a 5, sometimes takes away from the beauty of the music. One could argue that the cracking heard in the falsetto contributes to the general conveyance of the emotion though.

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Sun Aug 13 2023
4

Surprisingly enjoyable. 7/10

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Fri Sep 29 2023
4

Liked this one more than I thought I would!

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Thu Oct 12 2023
4

I listened to this album a lot when it came out. It’s airy music that’s nice to listen to at the cottage in the summer. Nice harmonies. Solid indie record. Can’t imagine all the Iggy Poppers liking it much haha.

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Fri Nov 10 2023
5

A five star album before I listened to this with a fresh pair of ears. I pretty much lived this album when it was first released. I rinsed it continuously for around six months. Some albums have that impact on you. I'm not sure why I was drawn to it at the time. It stood apart from the drum 'n' bass that was also taking over my life. I haven't played it for a few years, up until this morning. It still has that spark for me. The optimism, the musicianship, the songs. Plus it sounds like a session, rather than a polished, studio crafted album. It's the pure joy that it offers that still gives me a buzz. Outstanding.

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Thu Dec 28 2023
5

oh hunny 5 stars. psychedelic fan’s dream. sounds like how swimming in the ocean where your feet can’t touch the bottom feels

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Sun Aug 13 2023
4

Loved it: why this album isn't so know I have no clue bc I loved it. Felt instantly recognisable and hit the spot on my first listening. Some of the best new rock I have listen to yet and probably my favourite band I have discovered whom I have never even heard of before. Keep it coming.

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Thu Aug 24 2023
4

A pleasant and inoffensive indie folk rock record from the early noughties. Maybe this will be something I'll sort of vibe with going into autumn, with shorter and cooler days coming back around, a nice time to get out and go for country walks, when the British weather allows for it... I didn't find much of this to be of much interest though, but there were a few good tracks here, and nothing I outright disliked. Favourite: Say It Ain't So

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Wed Sep 20 2023
4

first listen not used to hearing banjo from an irish band

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Sun Sep 24 2023
4

I really enjoyed this. I remember hearing a couple of songs when they came out and this took me right back to that point in my life. I’m happy to have listed to this. It’s really pleasant and clean.

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Mon Aug 07 2023
3

This sounds light early-naughties indie-folk-rock. Its pleasant, but not mind blowing.

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Fri Dec 22 2023
3

Santa Cruz is a great song. Reminds me of my college days - I learned it from my shuttle bus driver - who would blast this song everyday in 2003. The rest of the album is mediocre indie pop rock. Honestly, this made me nervous that many of my favorite 21st century albums will not be on this list. - which i guess is ok - since this is about learning new things.

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Tue Oct 03 2023
2

Never heard of the Thrills before, I don't really see how much space there was in the 00s for a Beach Boys style band and I guess that's why they only put out 3 albums. There are some nice moments throughout the album and it does obviously have its own feel which is slightly unique. I'm also sure they had a great great time making and recording this album, but I wouldn't say it's that special or exciting for me. I'd rather just go and listen to a Beach Boys album which is slightly better. So although I do enjoy this formula of catchy melodies, multiple layered harmonies, experimentation with many instruments and sounds, and American summer surf vibes, that's only one layer of the depth of multiple layers to the Beach Boys.

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Thu Dec 14 2023
1

I'm a massive fan of Indie music so I was looking forward to this, but gosh darnit, if this wasn't lame as heck. So frigging twee and the lead vocalist's voice was so annoying. I do believe this is the first Indie record that I couldn't finish listening to. Oh, and the name of the band is completely misleading also.

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Wed Jan 03 2024
5

This brings me back. I was introduced to The Thrills by an English woman I met when we both started school in Santa Cruz. It's not that far.

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Fri Jan 26 2024
5

What a great album. Never heard of this group before but I’m glad I have now.

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Tue Apr 23 2024
5

I heard the song “One Horse Town” and fell in love with it while shopping somewhere in New York in the early 2000s. Shortly after I bought this album and loved it. I hadn’t looked much into the band, so I was surprised today to learn that they aren’t from California but instead from Ireland… now I hear that lead singers’ voice differently. The group creates some catchy tunes with interesting hooks and nice banjo. I still love this album!

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Tue Apr 23 2024
5

It's like someone flew some California sunshine to Ireland and The Thrills put it in a blender with some 70s pop radio and this is what we got. I heard similarities to The Carpenters, Pinball Wizard, the theme from Midnight Cowboy (not "Everybody's Talkin'" but the instrumental that was in all the John Brimhall piano books that is still one of only four songs I am able to play), and East Bound and Down (from Smokey and the Bandit). Some fun instrumentation and an overall uplifting sound made for a great listen today.

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Tue Apr 23 2024
5

For my first listen, I didn't overly excite me, but it was good. On the second, I found a charm that was quite endearing.

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Tue Apr 23 2024
5

"Who the hell is this, now?" I thought to myself, seeing the "post punk revival" category on the Wikipedia article. "Here we go again. *sigh*" As soon as I listened I liked them very much and they sounded very familiar (and not at all what I'd consider post punk). Turns out I had saved two of their songs from this album in my Apple library from a Las Vegas-themed mix CD a dear friend gave me 20 years ago. I really enjoyed the folky, jangly, piano-y goodness of this one, and getting to hear the whole delightful album. Yay!

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Wed Apr 24 2024
5

Wow. What an album! I was not expecting to get such a nice 69th record! Jokes aside, this is such a great album. I loved every song and the unique feel this album has. I have never heard a record like this one. The opening track, Santa Cruz (You're not that far) is a great track, as well as the closer and the hidden track that comes along with it. However, my favourite track has to be One Horse Town, I love the instruments, the vocals and the lyrics. Such a wonderful album. This album appears to not have much international praise but has won multiple awards within the home country of The Thrills, Ireland. I think it deserves more credit than it has, and in my opinion deserves a 9/10 rating.

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Thu Aug 17 2023
4

I was already quite familiar with the album and used to listen to it in while I was in high school. Pretty sure “Big Sur” was on The OC and was how I became acquainted.

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Sun Sep 03 2023
4

That last review was supposed to go here. "this is like death cab for cutie and guster meets The Beach Boys and I really liked it."

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Thu Sep 07 2023
4

Noise indie folk. Qué bonito sonido.

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Thu Sep 14 2023
4

Getting some Damien Rice from "Old Friends, New Lovers" Very 2000's, liked the vibe

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Sun Sep 24 2023
4

The Thrills' sophomore album, "So Much for the City," is a masterclass in timeless indie pop-rock that whisks listeners away to a place where sunny days and carefree afternoons seem to stretch on forever. Released in 2003, this Irish band's work encapsulates the essence of early 2000s indie music while offering a sonic journey that still resonates with fans today. Clocking in at just under 40 minutes, "So Much for the City" delivers a succinct yet complete listening experience. From the opening track, "Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far)," it's clear that The Thrills aim to transport their audience to a world filled with sun-drenched beaches and surfboards. The song's breezy melodies and catchy hooks set the tone for the entire album, creating an inviting atmosphere that is both comforting and exhilarating. One of the album's standout tracks, "Big Sur," showcases The Thrills' knack for crafting lyrics that are simultaneously wistful and hopeful. The song's lyrics evoke a sense of longing for a simpler, more carefree time, a theme that runs throughout the album. Combined with its infectious melodies and harmonious instrumentation, "Big Sur" is a shining example of the band's ability to strike an emotional chord with their audience. The Thrills' musical prowess is particularly evident in their instrumental arrangements. "So Much for the City" features a blend of acoustic and electric guitars, warm organ tones, and subtle percussion, creating a lush sonic landscape that perfectly complements the album's lyrical themes. Tracks like "Hollywood Kids" and "Your Love Is Like Las Vegas" showcase the band's ability to craft intricate and textured soundscapes that draw listeners in. Vocalist Conor Deasy's distinctive voice is another key element that sets The Thrills apart. His smooth, emotive delivery is the perfect vessel for the album's lyrics, adding depth and authenticity to each song. Whether he's crooning about California dreams or the ups and downs of love, Deasy's vocals are both soothing and evocative, making it easy for listeners to connect with the songs on a personal level. While "So Much for the City" is predominantly known for its upbeat, feel-good tracks, the album also delves into more introspective territory. "One Horse Town" and "Say It Ain't So" explore themes of disillusionment and the desire for something more, providing a balanced contrast to the album's more joyful moments. This emotional range adds depth to the overall listening experience, allowing the album to resonate on multiple levels. One of the album's defining qualities is its ability to transport listeners to a specific time and place. "So Much for the City" captures the essence of early 2000s indie music, offering a nostalgic trip down memory lane for those who grew up during that era. Yet, its timeless quality also makes it accessible and enjoyable for new generations of music enthusiasts. In conclusion, The Thrills' "So Much for the City" is a musical gem that continues to shine brightly nearly two decades after its release. With its infectious melodies, evocative lyrics, and a seamless blend of nostalgia and optimism, the album remains a testament to the enduring power of indie pop-rock. Whether you're revisiting it for a dose of nostalgia or discovering it for the first time, "So Much for the City" is an album that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

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Wed Oct 04 2023
4

"So Much for the City" by The Thrills is a breezy and nostalgic album that pays homage to the golden era of California rock. Released in 2003, it's a melodic and sun-soaked record that transports listeners to a different time and place. Tracks like "Big Sur" and "One Horse Town" are catchy and immediately evoke feelings of carefree summer days. The album's production is polished, capturing the essence of '60s and '70s pop-rock with lush harmonies and jangly guitars. While "So Much for the City" doesn't necessarily break new ground, it excels in its ability to conjure a sense of longing and nostalgia. It's a perfect soundtrack for road trips and lazy afternoons, making it a delightful addition to the indie rock landscape. With its evocative melodies and warm vibes, it earns a solid 4/5 rating.

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Wed Nov 01 2023
4

Very good clean fun. Their freshening up of a certain timeless sort of West Coast vibe holds up so much better than so many more "original" records of the same era (looking at you Strokes, YYYs, DCFC!). They pull it off with aplomb – and a great deal of fun by fully embracing the playfulness of the homage (note the "end it" yelp at the end of the most excellent opener). They seem very much in on the joke and go over the top with a winning wink. Strings, glockenspiel (one thinks), Plus the cover suggests a relatable crew one would enjoy having a pint with. Not even having a cut on W's iPod takes away the charm.

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Wed Nov 01 2023
4

Całkiem fajne, trochę the kooks, wokal jak Ryan Ross z patd Nie wiem co to robi na liście płyt które trzeba przesłuchać. Zespół z Irlandii który wydał 3 płyty a ta była wysoko na listach w Irlandii i uk Ulubiona piosenka Say it aint soi W ostatniej piosence jest hidden track ❤️

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Wed Nov 01 2023
4

Very enjoyable jangly pop. I hadn't even heard about this band before it popped up on my list. I guess it came out during the time I was dealing with little kids and didn't have the time and energy to notice new music. But definitely reminiscent of psychedelic-inspired rock/pop.

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Fri Nov 17 2023
4

The Thrills were one of a bunch of Irish/English bands that were popular in the early 2000s. Snow Patrol, Death Cab, Travis, the Postal Service, etc. were all the same band to me. One that I liked, and still like, very much. This album doesn’t break any new ground, but is very well done. The songs have enough differences to make the record interesting.

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Fri Nov 17 2023
4

It strikes me that because they are Irish and depressed, they tried to escape that image by calling themselves The Thrills and embracing a West Coast ocean dreamy vibe. This is consistent and accomplished and there is not one weak song here. I think the sad thing is they never managed to escape this particular box and disbanded before they evolved too far away from this style. Which is actually fine for me because this album was highly enjoyable. The harmonies and melodies were reminiscent of the Beach Boys and the beachy vibe was better than Jack Jones. And the strings were lush. I remember liking The Thrills 20 years ago and the songs still hold up.

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Sat Nov 18 2023
4

Hahaha summer 2003 nostalgia

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Thu Dec 14 2023
4

Always loved Big Sur but never listened to the album. This is Sue Perb stuff.

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Thu Dec 14 2023
4

Very sunny, obviously Californian themed. Reminds me 9f The Magic Numbers. I like it and had forgotten just how catchy are the two big singles. Not included in my 2018 edition, but time has allowed the compilers a review.

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Thu Dec 21 2023
4

I was in a really bad mood while I was listening to this today and it only made my mood worse when I realized that I would actually really be enjoying this if I was happy. It's a fun 45 minutes of early 2000s indie pop and the lead vocalist sounded a lot like the lead for the flaming lips. Even though I was upset, I really liked santa cruz and don't steal our sun.

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Tue Dec 26 2023
4

I really liked this. Reminds me a bit of the Eels, maybe a bit of the Flaming Lips too. Will listen again. 4 stars.

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Wed Dec 27 2023
4

Would've guessed some of these songs could be the Flaming Lips. The lead singer sounds weirdly similar to Wayne Coyne. There were some solid songs on here and can see myself coming back.

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Mon Jan 01 2024
4

So much sunshine packed in here that it's hard not to love, even if it's not the most diverse or groundbreaking thing. By the end the sunshine even feels like a sunset!

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Thu Jan 04 2024
4

These guys sound like The Beach Boys meets The Flaming Lips, Sloan, or Oasis. Solid indie rock with banjo and mandolin. Favourite songs: One Horse Town, Big Sur, Don't Steal Our Sun, Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far), Your Love Is Like Las Vegas, "Old Friends, New Lovers", 'Til The Tide Creeps In, Just Travelling Through Least favourite songs: Hollywood Kids, Plans 4/5

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Fri Jan 19 2024
4

This album is some lovely sunny 00’s California pop. I’ve never heard of The Thrills. The sometimes fun, sometimes chill vibe has me craving a beach, a sunset, a cooler full of seltzers, vegan volcano nachos and good friends. Nowhere else to go, nothing else to do.

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Sun Jan 21 2024
4

How did I never hear this record? Oh, right, I went to college in Nowheresville, Iowa. I almost didn’t believe these guys are from Dublin. They sound like a bunch of crunchy, wake-and-bake surf rats from Carlsbad. Whatever. This album is great.

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Wed Feb 14 2024
4

It was pretty lovely and soothing

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Wed Feb 21 2024
4

Very nostalgic. Reminded me of The OC.

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Wed Feb 21 2024
4

Sweet ost for someone in his 30s, seeing the middle of the road right ahead

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Wed Feb 21 2024
4

Muy bueno! Por la tapa esperaba mucho menos; pero fue un muy lindo viaje y el último tema me copó.

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Thu Feb 22 2024
4

I really enjoyed this album. Sounds straight out of the 60s pop rock scene, hints of Beach Boys, Weezer, and the Flaming Lips with some folk country tones as well. Unique lead vocal. Really enjoyed this album.

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Thu Feb 29 2024
4

I will continue to profess my love of aughts-era indie rock! This is fantastic. I can't believe I've never listened to them before. The vocalist really reminds me of Jason Lytle who I love. These songs are just super upbeat and infectiously catchy.

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Fri Mar 01 2024
4

Good songs. First 2 are the standouts. The rest are kind of the same bluesy longing with banjos and saloon pianos and slide guitars. Pleasant to listen too.

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Fri Mar 01 2024
4

Wish I had known about this band when they hit the scene. Got a So. Cal 70’s sound…Pete Best referenced in the lyrics! Most of the songs gave me a…thrill.

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Mon Mar 04 2024
4

You can tell this was influenced by Elliott Smith, specifically Figure 8. The standout track to me, Don’t Steal Our Sun, would be right at home on that album.

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Thu Mar 07 2024
4

Noise indie folk. Qué bonito sonido.

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Mon Mar 11 2024
4

santa cruz, don't steal our sun

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Sun Mar 24 2024
4

An overall nice package, reminiscent of the California music scene of the 60s and 70s.

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Sun Mar 24 2024
4

Listening to this album, in a lot of spots I was reminded of Owl City. And The Beach Boys. And Barenaked Ladies. And Ben Folds. And The Flaming Lips. And "You're So True" from SHREK 2. And, like, in another person's eyes that'd be harsh criticism, but me, I'm just like, "Heck, I like all those bands; I'm down for this 100%."

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Sun Mar 24 2024
4

I loved this album when it came out. I hadn’t listened to it in years, but glad it held up. It is such sunny indie pop that makes me want to take a road trip

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Wed Mar 27 2024
4

I have not heard of this album or band before. I was surprised I actually liked ‘Irish indie pop’ music but it had a lot of rock elements to it which may have contributed to my enjoyment. I liked the songs: Santa Cruz, and Big Sur. I will listen again!

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Mon Apr 08 2024
4

decent album, reminded me of Rod Stewart

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Sun Apr 14 2024
4

Great energetic poppy songwriting. Brilliant production. A gem.

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Mon Apr 15 2024
4

Sehr entspannte Akustikmelodien, die sich nach deutlich älterem Indie-Rock anhören als sie eigentlich sind.

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Thu Apr 18 2024
4

I rather liked this album. I thought it was pretty unremarkable at first, but I really got into it by the end and will add it to my rotation at work probably. It has a early 200s feel at times or maybe like 70s britpop. I liked the harmonica and bah-bah-bahs. Kind of sounds like Ben Folds Five led by the singer from Cloud Cult.

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Sun Apr 21 2024
4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: Santa Cruz, Big Sur, Your love is like Las Vegas

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Sun Apr 21 2024
4

Perfectly delightful if completely derivative. What's not to like here? The homage is well targeted – laid-back West Coast pop – and extremely well executed. There's nary a wrong or unplesant note. A new generation of fans can be forgiven for falling for this. Fleet Foxes did roughly the same with vegn-y earnestness and less cheekiness. There are a few standouts – "Santa Cruz," of course, "Deckchairs and Cigarettes" (half-silly, fully gorgeous, and rides the finest line between marvelous and maudlin, with the noodling exit being the difference maker), "Your Love is Like Las Vegas" indeed!). Even the least effective cuts ("Old Friends, New Lovers") offer charm. But with a perfectly sustained mood, it's the whole effective which is most impressive, a whole that is perhaps even more than the sum of its excellent parts, and it holds us wonderfully, way better than one would have suspected upon first hearing 20 years ago. One likes (and remembers) the hidden track, a fitting end to a record that sounds like good clean fun.

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Wed Apr 24 2024
4

I enjoyed this a lot because I love this sort of detached Americana vibe. Something about it also reminds me of Ween's 12 Golden Country Greats and I can't quite place why

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Wed May 01 2024
4

Completely forgotten about the Thrills but memories of listening to them on my river, looking over the south china sea and it still works for me.

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Thu May 09 2024
4

This is really "pop" for me, but there's a few very good tracks and I generally liked it. Good listen!

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Wed May 15 2024
4

Tough to pigeon-hole this genre -- Rock? Indie rock? Alternative Country? Whatever it is, it sounds good with a… confident air.

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Fri May 24 2024
4

Wasn’t sure at first but quickly grew to love it

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Sun Aug 13 2023
3

5/10. This sounds like someone kidnapped the Eels and tried to force them to make a country album, and this was as close as they could get. But I suppose if it's good enough for George Bush's iPod, it's good enough for this list

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Mon Aug 14 2023
3

Never heard of this band. Album was ok on 1st listen. Probably need to hear it again.

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Tue Aug 15 2023
3

If generic rock music as a genre released an album. 6/10.

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Wed Aug 16 2023
3

Beetje boring, maar vooruit; ik rond het af naar boven want er zaten een paar aardige nummers tussen.

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Wed Aug 16 2023
3

Feel good muziek! And I like it!

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Wed Aug 16 2023
3

Dit was dus eigenlijk best wel tof!

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Thu Aug 17 2023
3

A pretty mellow album with a nice sense of melody. It's a weird mix of sounds since there's sort of a rustic vibe from the banjos and harmonicas that crosses semi-uncomfortably with the singer's thin whispery indie voice. Overall it's interesting and pretty pleasant, although not something that hits me hard. Best song: Say It Ain't So [hi, Dubya]

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Sun Aug 20 2023
3

Great California sunshine pop I’d never heard of before. “Don’t Steal Our Sun” sounds perhaps like an Elliott Smith song run through the happy sun machine.

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Thu Aug 24 2023
3

Irish indie rock for the new millennium. Conor Deasy's wispy vocals develops much of this album's personality, though the band arrangements are nothing to scoff at. It gets a bit slow at times and it's not all that memorable, but it's a nice enough listen for the runtime. In a word: pleasant.

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Thu Aug 24 2023
3

I feel like I’ve heard this same album by countless other bands. If I found this album back in 2003, I would’ve loved it but 20 years later it doesn’t feel unique.

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Mon Aug 28 2023
3

Sonido un tanto parecido a The Byrds, pero en versión más moderna. Un poco más melancólico. Ritmos tranquilos y fácilmente escuchables.

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Tue Aug 29 2023
3

Wanted to like this more than I did. The guys voice is a bit polarizing I imagine. 2.5/5

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Thu Aug 31 2023
3

Kinda sounds like a ripoff of Neil Young or Bob Dylan. Not bad, but why not just listen to them instead?

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Fri Sep 01 2023
3

Irsk indie poprock, fra 00’erne, faktisk meget hyggeligt

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Fri Sep 01 2023
3

This album turned into a forgettable album, but this was such a great listen. I forgot how many memorable songs came from The Thrills, too bad they and this album got lost in the early 00's indie-crossover flop. 3/5.

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Sun Sep 03 2023
3

I thought this would be a little more edgy, what with the name The Thrills. But it’s nice sounding. Not sure why I have to listen to it before I die though. This is becoming more and more a question popping into my head with this list.

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Tue Sep 05 2023
3

They were fairly exciting at the time, and this is a pleasant enough listen. The singles were all great but didn’t carry across the whole album. Just don’t go back to Bicester.. 3.5

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Wed Sep 13 2023
3

This could have been great modern/retro indie pop except that his voice is awful. One and done for me.

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