Old and Young
(Fat Possum Records)
If you’re in need of a fix for indie surf pop music, there is almost no other band that does it better than the Denver-based group, Tennis. The band has followed up their 2011 Debut, Cape Dory, with a new album, Young and Old, that has no shortage of feet-tapping and hum-along tunes, but unfortunately delivers a lot of the same. Sweet and endearing: Yes. Surprising and entertaining: Not so much.
Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley recorded Cape Dory after going on a year-long sailing trip. These songs provide a great backdrop for getting lost at sea in the arms of a loved one. With their newest album, which was released on Valentines Day, you won’t see a great departure from that formula.
Alaina’s voice is angelic and pleasant to listen to. Even when she sings of lovelorn affairs on “Origins” (“Sensitive heart/You’re doomed from the start”), it still sounds sweet. In fact, at times, Tennis delivers such nostalgic music, that you feel as if it should be playing at a 6th grade dance that takes place in 1955, which is magical for a while, but drags on at the same pace for a little too long. Unfortunately, the band likes to play it safe at a very neutral place, and with few highs and lows. The record leaves an aftertaste that, while is pretty, never really takes you anywhere.
Even though it’s nearly impossible not to snap your fingers and nod your head along to the songs on Young and Old, the album if listened to as a whole, becomes stale and feels a bit monotonous.
Regardless, I can’t help but keep rooting for this duo. I really, really want to like them more. For now, I will listen to “Origins” and “Petition,” whenever I am longing for that warm and fuzzy feeling.