July 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Papercuts – Life Among the Savages

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Papercuts
Life Among the Savages
Easy Sound/Memphis Industries
Street: 05.06
Papercuts = Spiritualized + The Eels – Coldplay
The mildly psychedelic arrangements of the songs of San Fransciscan singer/songwriter Jason Quever might be taken for one of the Elephant 6 collective. It’s a restraint that is very compelling, and pulls you in. It’s also very similar to early Shins releases—stately, reserved statements of aesthetic purpose. The songs on his sixth full-length cut like paper—not apparently even weapon-like or even painful, initially, but sometimes making incisive (re)marks, all the more so for the coolness (not emotionlesness) with which they are brandished. What’s the difference between these purveyors of classical chamber pop and, say, Coldplay or maybe Oasis? The difference between subtle artistry and a cold, calculated technique, devoid of artifice. The stylistic differences between these songs might be slight to nearly imperceptible, but none of them are without teeth. When you are living among savages, you have to be able to defend yourself.

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