Take Back the Universe and Give Me Yesterday

This new disk from SF’s indie rock heroes, their first since signing with major label Dreamworks, is worth the time and money that went into creating it. Intricate, dynamic arrangements, coupled with very detail-oriented production values, give these 13 original songs a sonic complexity that will make this album a pleasure for headphone enthusiasts, whether kickin’ back on the couch suffused in the rosy glow of a bong hit and a Pale Ale or hunched over a keyboard sipping bad coffee and punching in data at the cubicle farm. In contrast to the band’s guitar-heavy live sound the songs on this highly polished recording are sweetened with layers of subtle keyboard embellishments and acoustic guitar strums. The voices of all four members are also well mixed into the sonic stew, adding a welcome human warmth to the tracks. Particular favorites of mine are the anthemic "Up All Night" and the sonically epic "Keep from Moving," but there really aren’t any weak tracks here; it’s the kind of album that sounds good the first time and better the 10th.