Originally Published at The Blue Indian on September 7, 2010.
The “bless her heart” of artistic descriptions.
But California duo, The Weepies’ new effort via Nettwerk Records, Be My Thrill, just might best fit this moniker.
From the first notes on opener “Please Speak Well of Me,” we are served an appetizer that hints at what’s to come. As Deb Talan’s voice chimes in, visions of department store commercials and Starbucks’ lattes fill our heads. Perhaps it is that commercial capitalization on mellifluous indie rock that forces such a visceral reaction in these post-Garden State days in which we live.
But you can’t fault this married duo for it. They try to resist. These songs are sweet in aesthetic, but their content speaks of the grit and uncertainty of “real” love. Thus there are several times when their confection is liberated from being saccharine or merely sentimental.
From the plaintive “They’re in Love, Where Am I?” to the relationship-sustaining hard work of “Add My Effort,” the pure moon-spoon-june-ity of the vocal harmonies and instrumentals often overwhelms the band’s undeniable candor.
What can be said is that these folks know how to write a hook. And perhaps this is the place for a little sugar. The “kissing-booth youth” and “sweet teeth” of the title track nail the blissful marital indie rock vibe that Mates of State and Ben & Vesper have made a (modest, but enjoyable) living at.
All this said, Be My Thrill only goes as far for me as surfing the crest of what I’m already feeling. It succeeds at supplementing my emotions; much like the doubtless slew of commercials and motion picture soundtracks its tunes will backdrop. But, it fails to actually change my mood or mind, to brighten my lows or to at least interestingly narrate them.
For all its sweetness, I will save this album for the occasional road trip indulgence or dinner party hors d’oeuvre. Enjoyable, but not enough of a main course in and of itself.