alright easy candy stranger
Sometimes bands come along who so badly want to be famous that their desire paints visuals through the sound. It's easy to picture The Killers, for example, as gangly eleven-year-olds sprawled across their bedroom floors, tapping their shoes against the wall in time with "Bohemian Rhapsody." Unfortunately for Librarians, it also is easy to picture them circa last year sometime, doggedly collecting all things popular in a desperate, haphazard effort to see their songs streamed from some kid's MySpace page. Joy Division impression? Check. Rock clichés strung together as lyrics? Check. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah used some hillbilly style to great success—well, dammit, The Librarians are actually from West Virginia.
2 / 10
Recent rumors have suggested that alright easy candy stranger is just a joke, from the neo-indie preening to the Web site's description of the album as "epic," and inspired by "the best parts of such acts as Les Savy Fav, Liars, The Dismemberment Plan, Enon, and Thunderbirds Are Now!" But to be a joke, first you must be funny. As a satire, alright easy candy stranger lacks bite; as a serious album, it's just dull. At their strongest, Librarians' blend of synthesizer and electric guitars sound like the best Franz Ferdinand cover band at a slummy bar—boring, but inoffensive. At their worst, their faux-Brit accents sound like the patrons of said bar after too many Jello shooters. The lyrics couldn't be more obvious—"Culture Vulture" rhymes "world" with "world," "girl," and "world," again; other tracks proclaim "inside is the new outside" and an especially inspired instruction to "take your shoes off/put on a label/keep your elbows/off the table." In nearly every track, The Librarians repeat single statements ad nauseum, as if they are envisioning the Bic-flicking chanting at their live show.
The album's one bright spot is, "The 9-Ft Tattoo." Librarians' regular pretensions are all present—the repetition of "I totally missed the mark," the droning bass and accents ripped right out of Turn On The Bright Lights—but they work. The lyrics are light-years smarter than those on the rest of the album, and the composition is pretty catchy, from the barebones build-up to the spirited chorus. Still, it's not enough to save this otherwise vanilla album.