Friday, November 25th, 2011

Real Estate – It’s Real

Though not that high scoring…


Alfred Soto: Hi! We’re just another crew of pseudo-goofy guys who pile mush atop a what-was-that guitar riff.

Anthony Easton: Pollyanna bullshit riding the authenticity train to Adult Contemporary in Slumberville. No one is this happy, and if they are, I want them to share whatever very expensive pharma they have in their anoraks.

Jer Fairall: Fey, perfectly pleasant indie-pop, somewhere between a less boring Shins and a more boring Field Mice, with the second demonstration of the all-too-easily redeeming presence of adorable doggies in music videos in as many weeks. 

Edward Okulicz: I’m willing to give jangly pop a pass and let it be as inarticulate as it wants, but “It’s Real” doesn’t get at the reality of anything, it doesn’t mean anything, it’s not just washy, it’s lobotomised. Washed-out, too. Kind of pretty the first listen, mind you.

Brad Shoup: Jangle-pop and Northern soul are linked in my mind. Their provenance tends to short-circuit their fans’ critical faculties: they don’t produce songs so much as timeslices. Real Estate’s in the former’s lineage, with their nagging, cycling guitar lines dominating the mix. The rhythmic lines render the drums obsolete, and the flanging obviates the synth. Martin Courtney tries to transform a AAAA rhyme scheme and near-wordless chorus into one of those indie holy young winter reveries, but I’m just here for a couple hooks and some background music. (Unlike Northern soul: that shit’s always gold.)

Iain Mew: That’s a lot of realness. This is much lighter of touch than that suggests though, sounding a bit like a transatlantic equivalent of Bombay Bicycle Club. They share the same sense of inconsequentialness as a deliberate design choice. Which is to say that there is nothing wrong with this song and I would happily listen to it many more times, but there’s so much stuff out there that I can say more than that for.

Jonathan Bradley: There’s an art to the way Real Estate makes its languorous indie rock so inconsequential. Their version of suburbia is mowed lawns and spring sunshine — that is, it’s not even exciting enough to be summer days and backyard cookouts. “It’s Real” is their first tune that could really be said to even have a hook, and it’s a slight one at that: a jangling guitar riff that sounds like it was was exhumed from a worn copy of R.E.M.’s Reckoning. Even if “It’s Real” doesn’t have the drive of “Harborcoat,” it does retain a burned warmth that ensures this insistently anonymous song is deceptively difficult to forget. My ears greet it as the most pleasing nothing that modern indie rock could conjure.

Jonathan Bogart: Ten years from now I’m sure this will be wonderful twice-removed nostalgia fodder. Right now, it’s nothing I want.

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