The Dears

The Dears

The Dears

Gang of Losers

Arts & Crafts

Having found the magic that made bands like R.E.M., The Smiths and Blur pop masters without losing their indie credibility, Canada’s The Dears enter into the realm of greatness with their third release, ironically titled Gang of Losers. An epic exploration of love, life and war, the ambitiously theatrical arrangements and songwriting of vocalist Murray Lightburn easily make GOL one of the year’s best releases.

“There Goes My Outfit” — a gorgeous ballad with a Smashing Pumpkins-esque guitar intro, a Keane style of soft build-up in the verses, Morrissey angst lyrics, and Radiohead ups & downs in the vocals — stands apart as a song to be included on any mix CD worth the title of “The Best of 2006.” Hear it once and repeat, its intoxication is the result of multiple listens.

Recorded in Lightburn’s home, this masterpiece was captured in single takes to produce the fresh, energized feel of a live performance. Clocking in at just under 50 minutes, it’s an amazing feat that this work never falters, never slips. No songs are to be skipped; there will be no premature disc ejection. The Dears have put out a “repeat all” CD that should find a comfy spot inside any stereo.

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