The first thirty seconds of this disc may lead you to believe you’re in for a Grandaddy sort of experience, and you’d be partly right. The Elected have that low-key rural charm thing down pat. They also are not a-feard of using new-fangled gadgetry to enhance their rustic songwriting, which comes across mostly through a sort of low-key country strum, glittering with well-placed pedal steel guitar. The vocals are sometimes close to a whispered croon, by songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Blake Sennett (also of Rilo Kiley). While The Elected may lose some points for the similarities to another band, there’s far worse wells from which to drink. And overall, Me First retains its individuality and provides some refreshing listening for those who (like me) have been completely bewitched by Grandaddy time and again.
Supremely cohesive, Me First is one of those albums that fully develops over time and repeated listenings. There are plenty of melodic hooks to get you started, reel you in and get you to pay close attention. Those snatches of lyrics begin evolving, connecting, hanging together as if they were all part of the same song. I’d have to say that ultimately your interpretation will vary. To this critic, Me First sounds like dusty sunlight slanting through a banging trailer home screen door. There’s a strong wistfulness, a feeling of childhood lost and something else gained and the question of whether it was all a fair deal. Have a listen and see what you think.