The Weight is a Gift

Nada Surf

Two years ago, and following a brief flirtation with chart-topping fame (“Popular”) and a major label drop kick, the trio Nada Surf released Let Go, one of the few genuinely great guitar-driven pop albums since the criminally underrated Velvet Crush existed in the early ’90s. Produced by Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla, The Weight is a Gift expands and multiplies in its assertion of Nada Surf’s sugar-sweet arsenal of alarming full and resonant melodies. “Concrete Beds” opens with a furtive strum and insistent melody amiably battering its saccharine self in the head. The only measure by which one might rule against the band are lyrics like those in which guitarist/vocalist Dave Caw tosses off indie rock Dr. Phil-isms; “To find someone you love/ you’ve got to be someone you love.” Some moments tread an awkward line between unprotected honesty and true high school confessions. Very much can be forgiven, however, when a band writes songs this impressive, with so many exhilarating turns, curves and hooks to mesmerize the listener.